Cubs:San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers told me and other media members at the Winter Meetings that the only team he's talking to about Jake Peavy is the Chicago Cubs. Towers told me that he "hoped to have a deal done with the Cubs before the end of the winter meetings." Towers also stated that if he can't get something done by the end of the week with the Cubs, his inclination is to take Peavy off of the market and keep him on the team for 2009.
The Cubs will have to come up with anywhere from 3-5 young players in any deal for Peavy and the involvement of a third team being involved is still a possibility. In a three-team deal the Cubs would send a few players to team number three, who would return players to the Cubs that the Padres are interested. (The Padres are looking for major league ready pitchers at minor league salaries.)
The Cubs will need to trade Jason Marquis and his $9 million salary before they can make a total commitment to the Peavy trade. According to sources here in Las Vegas, the Cubs will have conversations with the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets about Marquis, and the Cubs will probably be willing to eat up to a third of the contract if they have to. Hendry has already talked to Rockies' GM Dan O'Dowd, who expressed interest in Marquis but told Hendry that they don't have the money to take on any of the contract.
White Sox:Cincinnati Reds GM Walk Jocketty told me early this morning that there is no semblance of a trade with the Chicago White Sox right now. Jocketty did admit that he's had conversations with the Sox about different players. The consensus is that Jocketty is interested in acquiring Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye to augment his offense, which is left-handed hitting heavy. White Sox sources admit to have interest in the Reds' former first-round pick Homer Bailey. The $12.5 million due Dye in 2009 is something that the Reds are not willing to take on at this point. Some other form or structure of this trade could possibly occur before the end of the meeting.
News and Notes:
I talked to HOF's Don Sutton and Joe Morgan about Ron Santo again being denied HOF entrance through the veterans' committee. "This is not a beauty pageant," said Sutton. "It's not mandated that we elect somebody. It's only mandated that we do our due diligence, study the facts for each candidate and then proceed from there. I think it's a system that still works."
With all due respect to Sutton, this is a system that is broken. These 65 Hall of Famers seem to be more interested in keeping a closed club than opening the doors to deserving candidates like Santo, former Dodger Gil Hodges and former Twins Bert Blyleven and Jim Kaat.
Bruce Levine is the host of 'Talkin' Baseball', heard Saturdays on ESPN 1000. Send comments, questions and feedback by clicking here.