Something is about to go down
There are talks all over Chicago about trading Marquis to the Rockies for Luis Vizcaino, which addresses the bullpen and the cubs pay virtually none of Marquis's salary for 2009. Other talks have surfaced of Mark DeRosa being on the move to the Indians for 2-3 young arms in return. The cubs also welcomed their 17th middled infielder to the mix by signing Aaron Miles to a 2 year deal that pays him less over those 2 years than what DeRosa will make in 2009 alone. Also throw in there the notion that the cubs will have Milton Bradley signed to a 3 year deal by the beginning of next week, and this is quite a bit of activity to end 2008 and begin 2009.
Not to read too much into these moves, but the idea behind moving Marquis was to free up money to spend on Milton Bradley. Trading DeRosa and signing Aaron Miles points toward another trade the cubs fell short of making at the winter meetings, which is none other than Mr. Jake Peavy. The way I see it, Hendry found out what it would take to get this thing done early, but he was reluctant to get into a 3 or 4 team deal because the team would have had to give up too much to satisfy the other teams involved. Now Hendry is acquiring the players needed to fill in the gaps, so that the Cubs can complete this trade without having a 3rd party involved.
The padres have now lost all of the leverage they once had in this process, but they still remain despearate to move Peavy. So I fully expect a trade to develop, quietly this time, that will land the cubs the righty they were after all along. My guess is you will see the cubs send Josh Vitters, Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, the pitchers they acquire in the Cleveland deal for DeRo, and possibly 1 other pitcher all sent to Sand Diego in a 5-6 for 1 deal.
Looks to me like Jim Hendry waited back and let the pieces fall into place, and in the end he got his man. So it was a little after Christmas, but I think cub's fans will find it worth the wait. All of the inactivity and non-moves had cubs fans worked into a frenzy already, but I think the team will explode with 1 major signing and 1 blockbuster trade to begin the new year.
There should finally be a press conference with lots of smiles on the faces of Cub's management next week, when they are introducing Jake Peavy and Milton Bradley as the newest members of the Chicago Cubs. WOW, if Hendry pulls both these moves off simultaneously I think that few could argue the job he has done this offseason. I would be more than willing to let Woody and DeRosa go, if I knew that Milton Bradley and Jake Peavy would be joining the team soon after. This will be a fun team to watch in 2009.