Felix Pie Rumors
The latest from SI.com's Jon Heyman...
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says he's had "casual conversations" about a contract extension with Jason Bay. We learned a few days ago that Bay is open to an extension but doesn't consider it the "end-all, be-all."
- Jonathan Papelbon says he's a "gambling man," and he prefers to go year-to-year rather than sign long-term. Boston's offer was far off his expectations, and he wants to set the market for closers. Papelbon is under team control through 2011, and will earn $6.25MM in his first arb year.
- Heyman says there's "some indication Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is about to become involved in the Manny Ramirez negotiations." Maybe that'll get things moving.
- Heyman says the Braves will look at Garret Anderson, Jim Edmonds, and Luis Gonzalez, though ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has indicated the Braves aren't interested in the veteran free agents.
- The Orioles' acquisition of Felix Pie cost Edmonds a chance to sign with the team.
Let's take a look at the latest from Ken Rosenthal.
- The Orioles have their ears open Brian Roberts, whose trade value has diminished as he nears free agency. The White Sox can't afford him, the Braves are reluctant to give up talent, and the Cubs didn't discuss him in the Felix Pie talks. The Roberts market may improve once Orlando Hudson signs.
- Rosenthal's source says the Michael Young-Jermaine Dye discussions did take place. If you read Dave van Dyck's article, Ken Williams never specifically denied talks with the Rangers.
- Rosenthal believes that if the Cubs make another big move, it'll be a Jake Peavy trade. They're not in on Hudson.
- The Dodgers have roughly $50MM in payroll flexibility right now.
- The Giants may be looking at Manny Ramirez, but they've also looked in trades for hitters - "presumably" Prince Fielder or Corey Hart included. Those talks with the Brewers didn't go far. The Giants may be willing to move Jonathan Sanchez, but the Jorge Cantu talks have stalled.
- So far the Dodgers and Russell Martin have only talked about a one-year deal.
- The Mariners are Brewers are eyeing Craig Counsell.
- The Ms "likely are willing" to trade Aaron Heilman.
5:20pm: Tom Krasovic notes the Padres' previous interest in Olson. He examines the possibility of the Cubs and Padres making a Jake Peavy deal. Click here to read Jim Hendry's thoughts on Pie. Bruce Miles also notes that the Cubs are close to deals for arb-eligible relievers Kevin Gregg and Mike Wuertz.
3:11pm: Roch Kubatko spoke with Andy MacPhail about the Pie/Olson trade. MacPhail says that this trade is not a precursor to any other move, and that it's likely the Orioles will go with Huff at first base, Pie in left, and Scott at DH.
Earlier we'd heard the O's being in on some possible first base candidates, including Richie Sexson, Adam Dunn, and Ty Wigginton, but it seems they're comfortable with this lineup.
Olson figures to slot in as a middle-reliever for the Cubs or as a fifth starter, depending on what role they have planned for Sean Marshall.
Pie could start off the 2009 season as a backup for all three outfield spots, according to Rosenthal. Rosenthal also suggests Pie playing left field, with Aubrey Huff manning first base and Luke Scott becoming a full-time DH. That idea seems to make more sense to me.
If Pie can realize any of his potential in a new setting, the Orioles will have one of the more talented young outfields in baseball.
A few Cubs notes from Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald...
- Randy Wolf "remains a possibility" for the Cubs. Wolf should generate decent interest if he's willing to sign for one year. He probably expected more after making 33 starts for the second time in his career. A Jake Peavy deal appears unlikely by Opening Day, says Gordon Wittenmyer.
- The Cubs are unlikely to re-sign Henry Blanco, but Paul Bako remains on the radar. So far it's Koyie Hill for the Cubs' backup catcher job.
- Out of options: Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno. Hill and Pie are good candidates to be dealt before Opening Day. Angel Guzman is also out of options, but he has a shot at cracking the team's bullpen.
Links for Wednesday...
- Check out the recent minor league transactions, always some familiar names.
- Scott Erickson's wife talks about his comeback bid.
- The Red Sox have had "early-stage conversations" about an extension for Kevin Youkilis.
- The Phillies invited ten players to Spring Training and signed a bunch of minor league free agents. The Royals invited four, including Lenny DiNardo and Oscar Villarreal.
- Roch Kubatko suggests the Orioles should try to acquire Ryan Garko.
- Curt Schilling weighs in on Mark Teixeira's options.
- Dayton Moore still doesn't sound willing to trade Zack Greinke.
- Peter Schmuck and Craig Calcaterra discuss the Sidney Ponson case, which could have a significant impact on the game.
- RotoAuthority looks at the current top fantasy draft picks at each position.
- Gordon Wittenmyer expects Felix Pie to be traded.
- Cesar Izturis' contract is actually for two years and $5MM guaranteed, plus incentives.
- John Fay looks at options for a right-handed bat for the Reds.
- Reliever Scott Dohmann is headed to Japan on a $650K deal plus incentives.
- Chris Capuano can earn over $3MM this year based on incentives.
- Willie Bloomquist hasn't received an offer yet, and he doesn't expect to return to Seattle.
8:36pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock learned from Towers that he should know one way or another on a Peavy trade by the end of the Meetings. Towers now believes a fourth team will be required. Towers mentioned that Marquis and DeRosa may be hangups, especially Marquis' contract. Though he'd prefer not to, under certain circumstances the Padres might pay some of his salary.
There was some goofy Carlos Carrasco/Jason Donald stuff we didn't link to today, and that was shot down. Brock suggests names like Josh Vitters, Felix Pie, and Kevin Hart could be involved on the Cubs' part.
8:31pm: Jayson Stark says Peavy to the Cubs doesn't seem inevitable anymore, and the sides have not made progress in the last 24 hours. The Cubs have leverage, so they've dug in their heels. Stark adds that once word of the possible inclusion of DeRosa linked, Jim Hendry has been "bombarded with calls from other clubs interested" in him. Hendry does not want to trade DeRosa.
6:00pm: Buster Olney says the Yankees have talked with the Padres recently about Peavy, but it didn't go anywhere.
5:19pm: Brock talked to a Padres source who does not believe the Twins are involved.
4:10pm: Buster Olney says Axelrod left the Meetings with no word of a deal but the expectation is still that the Cubs will get it done.
3:48pm: Tom Krasovic reminds us that Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod said going into the Meetings that the Yankees would be more attractive to his client if they signed C.C. Sabathia. Still, Peavy prefers the NL.
3:17pm: Corey Brock says the Phillies might want Scott Hairston from the Padres to use in left field.
2:33pm: Carrie Muskat's Cubs source says DeRosa will not be traded.
9:45am: LEN3 says the Twins discussed DeRosa with the Cubs yesterday. The Cubs will present the Twins with a list of pitchers they like, which will be influenced by the Padres' preferences.
9:31am: There's word from Jim Salisbury that pitcher Kyle Kendrick could be included in this three-team trade.
1:19am: If you dare to sort through yesterday's Jake Peavy rumors, click here. Today, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times maintains that the biggest obstacle is the Cubs moving part of Jason Marquis' contract. Another factor - the Padres will need to free up several spots on the 40-man roster. The Cubs' sale will not be an issue.
Wittenmyer adds that a Phillies official didn't expect to get Mark DeRosa from the Cubs but rather other players. Also, Cubs officials shot down the John Perrotto rumor that the Cubs might shop Carlos Zambrano after acquiring Peavy.
11:07pm: Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has Phillies sources saying the deal is in place if the Cubs will pull the trigger with the Padres. Sullivan also talked to chairman Crane Kenney, who implied the Cubs included Peavy's contract within projected budgets to bidders.
Sullivan adds that the Cubs have not had talks for Bobby Abreu yet.
9:17pm: Stark says there's no way such a complicated trade will get done before the end of the Meetings. He adds that extra teams are not necessarily requirements. The Cubs will need to move a contract and get ownership approval, though.
8:39pm: Ruben Amaro Jr. came close to acknowledging the Phils are involved in the Peavy deal, says Jayson Stark.
8:31pm: Jeff Passan: the lone holdup in this complicated trade is the Cubs moving Marquis. A deal is not imminent, though, according to Towers.
7:26pm: Brock talked to Towers, who met today with Hendry and said a trade seems more likely today than it did yesterday. They'll meet again tonight. If a deal is reached, it'd be announced after Thursday's Rule 5 draft. Brock says the Phillies are believed to be the third team.
3:31pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock says nothing is imminent and the Cubs appear reluctant.
2:25pm: The saga continues...Kevin Towers does not think this deal lost steam in the last 24 hours, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown and Gordon Edes. However, they say the Cubs are having second thoughts about this four-team mess. The Cubs source says the price is too steep for them right now and they're looking at another short-term option for the rotation (Randy Johnson maybe).
2:02pm: Tom Krasovic says the Padres are not seeking J.A. Happ or Chris Coste as has been previously rumored. Also, Ronny Cedeno is not the Padres' first choice to replace Khalil Greene at short. Krasovic adds that the Braves apparently are now happy the Padres didn't take their offer for Peavy.
Kras adds that the Padres did some fact-finding with Mark Grudzielanek's agent. Grudz wants to play for a winner though.
1:10pm: Roman Modrowski of the Chicago Sun-Times says Peavy sang "Go Cubs, Go" at a Vegas bar last night. Good times. But did Roy Oswalt sing along? Also, Modrowski believes the Cubs would be willing to eat as much as $6MM of Marquis' $9.875MM.
Jayson Stark says an Aaron Heilman-Marquis deal appears unlikely, as the sides cannot agree on what portion of Marquis' contract the Cubs would assume.
12:08pm: Rosenthal says the Cubs maintain they're not close on Peavy. And they still need to identify their new owner before a deal can get done. The Cubs are mulling Randy Johnson as a backup plan, and continue to prioritize the lefthanded bat.
10:36am: Phil Rogers says the key to this potential four-team Peavy trade would be the Phillies or Orioles taking on Marquis and some of his contract. Rogers says "it will be a stunner if the Cubs don’t acquire Peavy."
1:00am: Chris De Luca says a source close to Jim Hendry characterized a Peavy deal as "very close." De Luca's sources say a Cubs-Orioles component is set (Felix Pie for Garrett Olson). This runs counter to Roch Kubatko's report below. De Luca says the Cubs still want to trade Marquis and acquire a lefthanded hitter before closing the Peavy deal.
12:41am: Ken Rosenthal's source says the Cubs' attempts to bring in a third team have involved "probably 20 names with four to five clubs." So it's not necessarily DeRosa or the Phillies. Rosenthal says an agreement is still not close.
12:30am: To summarize yesterday: Kevin Towers has facilitated an apparent three-team Jake Peavy trade that he will present to the Cubs. I say three because Roch Kubatko says the Orioles don't know of any agreement. So the best guess right now (based on reports) is that the Cubs would send Mark DeRosa to the Phillies, and both teams would send young players to the Padres. The Cubs could offload Jason Marquis in the deal, and the savings from Marquis and DeRosa would seem to neatly equal Peavy's $11MM salary for '09.
11:02pm: Jim Salisbury backs up the idea that the Phils could receive DeRosa and the Padres could get Happ. It's worth noting that the Cubs could trim $5.5MM off the payroll by sending out DeRosa and using Fontenot at second base.
10:31pm: MLB.com's Lyle Spencer says the Angels have not taken themselves out of the Peavy sweepstakes.
Also, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune supplies more info. A third team would definitely be involved in a Cubs trade. DeRosa could wind up a Phillie, and Michael Wuertz is a new name of interest for the Padres. Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod said again that Peavy will require a full no-trade clause upon a deal. One more thing - Towers said trading Peavy could free up money for Trevor Hoffman.
9:00pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock says the legwork on this trade "has essentially been completed." No deal has been reached, but Towers says he's facilitated a three or possibly four-team deal. The third and possibly fourth teams (Orioles, Phillies) have agreed to players. There could be some haggling remaining on players sent from the Cubs to Padres.
Brock says all Towers needs now is the go-ahead from Hendry. Peavy, by the way, was spotted at the Meetings.
8:35pm: Jayson Stark gives his take on the Peavy-Cubs situation. He says Hendry is dealing with restrictions due to the team's ownership situation, despite his comments.
8:01pm: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com says Jason Marquis and Angel Guzman (among others) could end up with the Padres in the three-team deal. The Padres could get J.A. Happ and/or Chris Coste from the Phils. Miller adds that the Phils are known to have interest in Mark DeRosa.
6:53pm: Rosenthal says the Phillies are now in the mix as a possible third team in a Peavy trade. Those talks are preliminary. Rosenthal says the Cubs can't complete a deal for Peavy until their new owner is decided.
5:33pm: Roch Kubatko says the O's are still interested in Pie, but may only get him for Olson straight up if Olson is to be flipped to San Diego in a Peavy trade.
2:37pm: Joel Sherman learned from Towers that if he doesn't reach an agreement on a Peavy deal with the Cubs at the Meetings, he will keep the pitcher to start the season. The Dodgers are apparently the only other team to which Peavy has approved a trade.
Sherman adds that the Cubs "are willing to let [Peavy] keep his no-trade clause." Not sure if Sherman is trying to say the Cubs would replace Peavy's partial no-trade rights for 2011 and part of 2012 with full no-trade powers.
2:33pm: Kevin Towers told Ken Rosenthal he's talking to only the Cubs about Peavy. He expects to have a good idea on whether to drop it or move forward by the end of the Meetings. Towers approached Ned Colletti but talks didn't get far.
12:22pm: Jerry Crasnick says Kevin Towers and Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod drove together for the 4.5 hour ride from San Diego to Las Vegas, but Axelrod says they only talked about Peavy for about three minutes. Also, Axelrod brought a sweet mix CD.
11:44am: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says the Cubs and Padres did not talk about Peavy on Sunday but will today. He's heard the Padres might be concerned with Vitters' hand/wrist.
1:14am: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs first want to trade Jason Marquis and acquire their left-handed hitting outfielder before Peavy. Wittenmyer's sources do believe the Cubs will eventually acquire San Diego's ace. However, his sources say the Tom Krasovic report about a five-for-one framework being in place is exaggerated.
Wittenmyer hears that the Orioles would be willing to swap Garrett Olson for Felix Pie; the Cubs would then send Olson to the Padres in the Peavy deal.
12:54am: According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, Padres GM Kevin Towers "envisions a way to do a [Jake Peavy] deal now only with the Cubs." We've heard rumors of the Padres and Cubs trying to rope in the Orioles or Rays as a third team.
Heyman adds that Peavy would approve a trade to Chicago "without any significant reworking of his contract or other major concessions." Does that imply that the Cubs would not have to guarantee Peavy's 2013 option ($22MM) or grant him a full no-trade clause?
Keep in mind that despite all the virtual ink that will be spilled on Peavy over the next four days, Jayson Stark sees "just about a zero chance" he's dealt at the Meetings. Still, the Cubs and Padres seem to already have a framework in place involving Sean Marshall, Kevin Hart, Josh Vitters, and maybe Ronny Cedeno.
THURSDAY: David Lennon of Newsday talked to a source who said there's "nothing there" in regard to the rumor of a Dye and Jenks to the Mets blockbuster. Joel Sherman talked to a few Mets officials who called the rumor nonsense. Sherman says Martinez is "all but untouchable."
WEDNESDAY: Let's dig into the latest column from John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus.
- Perrotto speaks of whispers of a possible White Sox-Mets blockbuster. The Mets would receive Jermaine Dye and Bobby Jenks and the White Sox would receive Fernando Martinez among others.
- Regarding the Orioles' possible involvement in a trade that would send Jake Peavy to the Cubs, Perrotto says Baltimore seeks Ronny Cedeno and Felix Pie from Chicago.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has spoken to outfielder Jayson Werth and setup man Ryan Madson about contract extensions. Madson might be a tough one as he's represented by Scott Boras (who recently compared him to Mariano Rivera). Both players are under team control for one more season.
- The Red Sox are considering free agents Willie Bloomquist, Jay Payton, and Mark Loretta as possible bench additions. A return to Boston seems to be Payton's preference.
- Perrotto believes the only player seriously considering accepting arbitration is Darren Oliver. Oliver's already seen the Reds drop out of the mix due to the draft pick price.
- Perrotto says the Tigers and Orioles are showing interest in Jack Wilson, while the Dodgers have backed off.
Lots to cover in the latest from Ken Rosenthal:
- Jake Peavy to the Cubs is still being explored despite complications: The Cubs are being sold. Ryan Dempster was re-signed for 4 years, $52MM. The Padres are trying to include a third party to net the package GM Kevin Towers is seeking. If this happened then the Cubs would need to move Jason Marquis. Rosenthal suggests the Padres could take him if the Cubs ate around $3MM of his $9MM owed next season, or the Cubs could deal him and cash to another team (Rosenthal suggests the Rockies, Reds, or Giants). Rosenthal also backs the rumors of the Orioles involvement as the third team and having interest in Felix Pie.
- As an update to this post, the Dodgers stopped pursuing Jack Wilson when the Pirates asked for a third player in the package of Chin-Lung Hu and Delwyn Young as compensation for the Dodgers request for cash to reduce Wilson's contract. Wilson is set to make $7.25MM next season with an $8.4 club option or $600,000 buyout, and the Dodgers don't believe Wilson offers enough offensive production to justify those figures. The Pirates agreed to include cash and would offer more cash for a better prospect; however, the Dodgers did not want any part of that.