Updating the mill
Here's the latest juicy rumors from around the Interwebs.
Dempster, 31, plans to test the open market, major-league sources say. He filed for free agency on Friday, and does not intend to sign with the Cubs before their exclusive negotiating period with him expires on Nov. 13.
The prevailing assumption in baseball is that the Cubs will re-sign Dempster, a right-hander who went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA last season while starting full-time for the first time since 2002.
Dempster's return, however, no longer is a given.
While the Cubs remain interested in retaining Dempster, an 11-year veteran, the pitcher first will entertain bids from other clubs. He conceivably could receive four-year offers on the open market, an important consideration if the Cubs only are willing to give him three.
He indicates this could step up the Cubs' interest in trading for Peavy, although it's unknown if the Cubs have the pieces necessary to make a Peavy trade and still complete the rest of their offseason agenda.
Chicago Cubs Online has secondhand rumors from ESPN 1000's Bruce Levine. The highlights:
- Levine says that Theriot may not be the starter next year, specifically mentioning Rafael Furcal as the one-who-got-away. Furcal is not due any compensatory draft picks, not having enough playing time the past two seasons.
- In line with what Rosenthal said, Dempster is looking for a 5 year deal, while the Cubs would like to stick to three years.
- The Padres would like to complete a Peavy deal sooner rather than later. A package would probably have to start with Cedeno, Pie and Marshall, expanding to include some other prospects. (I don't know about that, that's just what Levine says.)
As for the Peavy deal, I'd expect to have a good reading on where that's headed when the GM meetings roll around next week; on the other hand, Dempster isn't expected to sign during his exlusive negotiating window (now until November 13th), so the Cubs may have to act on this before they know whether or not Dempster will be retained.
ESPN's Buster Olney says that Edmonds plans to play next year. The Cubs have already publicly committed to playing Fukudome and Johnson in center field next year, so he'll probably move on to another team.