Felix Pie Rumors
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.
According to Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles appear to be the third team in the Jake Peavy-Cubs trade talks. Kevin Towers told Tim Brown earlier this week he may have found the third team.
According to the Sun, one scenario could have the Cubs sending Felix Pie to Baltimore for Garrett Olson, who would become part of the Cubs' package for Peavy. The Orioles once targeted Pie during the Brian Roberts talks, while the Padres wanted Olson for Khalil Greene. No deal is imminent. The authors add that acquiring Pie would not affect the Orioles' pursuit of Mark Teixeira, even if some current team members lose playing time.
9:51pm: MLB.com's Dick Kaegel has a source saying Dayton Moore and Jim Hendry have not discussed a deal for Teahen or David DeJesus. Moore wouldn't comment publicly on the rumor, while Teahen and his agent are unaware of any trade talks. Still, check out Rany Jazayerli's thoughts on the rumor.
5:02pm: More fallout from the Ryan Dempster signing. The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton is reporting the Cubs are once again targeting Mark Teahen to fill their right field vacancy. Dutton says discussions to acquire Teahen "stalled earlier this month, in part, because the Cubs’ wanted to hold onto several young players while discussing a possible trade with San Diego for pitcher Jake Peavy if Dempster signed elsewhere."
Now that Dempster is on board, acquiring a left handed hitting outfield bat is the Cubs' highest priority. But who would the Cubs trade for Teahen?
The Cubs want to move Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome, but that’s a tough sell -- to any team, not just the Royals -- because he slumped badly last season over the closing months and is owed $38 million over the next three years.
A more-likely possibility is Felix Pie, a 23-year-old once viewed as a can’t-miss prospect. Pie batted just .223 in 260 at-bats with the Cubs over the last two years after posting strong minor-league numbers.
The Cubs can also offer shortstop Ronny Cedeno or second baseman Mike Fontenot if the Royals prefer to acquire a middle-infield partner for Mike Aviles.
Pie is also out of options and the Cubs seem to have run out of patience, so he is a likely trade candidate. Teahen, meanwhile, has yet to live up to the hype that surrounded his promotion to the big leagues, but he could blossom hitting against weaker NL pitching. Teahen, you might remember, was one of the featured players in the book "Moneyball" and was described as a future Jason Giambi.
1:47pm: This Scott Miller column is from yesterday, but it has some good info. Miller's source believes the Braves are the frontrunners for Peavy and are willing to include Gorkys Hernandez. Additionally, the source said the Cubs are very aggressive and the Dodgers are making a strong pitch.
12:53pm: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says Samardzija is not on the table and has a full, not partial, no-trade. Additionally, the Cubs have not thrown Fontenot into the mix. Miles gives a 50-50 chance of the Cubs getting Peavy.
9:39am: GM Kevin Towers expects to trade Jake Peavy before the winter meetings, saying, "The train's kind of left the station." Continuing the metaphor, Barry Axelrod said, "The only thing we've got is a brake."
According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, the Cubs have moved in front of the Braves in the battle for Peavy. Passan says the Padres want Jeff Samardzija (who has a limited no-trade clause), and the Cubs could also include players such as Felix Pie, Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, and Donald Veal. Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests Rich Harden or Mike Fontenot could be involved. De Luca notes that a Peavy trade would probably prevent the Cubs from acquiring Brian Roberts. ESPN's Buster Olney believes Josh Vitters would have to be involved, while the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles adds Jose Ceda, Welington Castillo, and Mitch Atkins as possibilities. Miles does not see the Cubs as a player for C.C. Sabathia, by the way.
The Padres would prefer a deal with Atlanta, but can't pry Tommy Hanson loose. The Braves are willing to trade Yunel Escobar, Charlie Morton, and Jordan Schafer.
Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic at the San Diego Union-Tribune says Peavy and Barry Axelrod are concerned about the Braves' shortstop situation if they are to include the defensively-talented Escobar. Perhaps the Braves could sway them by outlining some contingency plans at the position.
9:58pm: Peavy apparently rejected one trade, to an American League team with a small ballpark.
12:12pm: David O'Brien says Braves and Padres officials met Sunday and Monday to talk Peavy, discussing proposals not including Tommy Hanson. The Braves remain the favorite.
12:08pm: Brewers GM Doug Melvin says he is not engaged in talks for Peavy.
10:32am: Joel Sherman says the Yankees have shown no early movement toward Peavy. Free agents just make more sense. Still, Jay Paris snagged some good quotes from Axelrod and Towers about the Yankees possibility.
8:52am: Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, says they have not given approval for the Yankees or Angels. Axelrod reiterated that the Yankees would have to pay a premium (likely an extension). Towers said he doesn't believe the Angels would have to pay the same premium.
8:35am: Towers also doubts Peavy would approve a trade to Milwaukee.
8:03am: Let's kick off a fresh post for today's Jake Peavy rumors. A reminder of the latest news: Peavy has preapproved the Yankees and Angels, bringing his total to seven teams. Padres GM Kevin Towers indicated that Peavy would not approve a trade to Boston.
Towers referenced the Dan Haren and Mark Teixeira deals while indicating he wants quality over quantity back. CBS's Scott Miller has info on some players discussed. He says Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, and Rich Hill are available from the Cubs. With the Dodgers, Chad Billingsley and James McDonald have been discussed. We know Towers wants more from the Dodgers, but Billingsley seems unlikely.
10:37pm: Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune comments on the Cubs' interest in Peavy. There's not much new here - if the Cubs can't re-sign Ryan Dempster, they could take a crack at Peavy. Van Dyck has an unconfirmed rumor of a Cubs offer of Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, and others. The others would be pretty important in such a scenario.
Van Dyck makes a good point in that the Cubs might have to dive into the pool of second tier free agent starters if they can't get Dempster or Peavy.
8:42pm: Padres GM Kevin Towers recently spoke to the press, stating that Jake Peavy has approved two AL teams in addition to his known five NL clubs. The Yankees and Angels are now possibilities. If there were to be any acceptable AL teams, it figured to be these two based on earlier rumblings.
7:35pm: Hendry commented on all kinds of topics to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. He sounds a little more intent on re-signing Dempster than Wood. Hendry is not sure whether Jim Edmonds will retire, but he sees Felix Pie making the team out of spring training.
12:13pm: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have extended GM Jim Hendry's contract through the 2012 season. He can now focus on free agents Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood, as well as acquiring a lefthanded bat.
Here's the latest column from SI.com's Jon Heyman.
- Cubs prospect Felix Pie has seen his value slip this year. He didn't hit in 70 plate appearances with the big club. His Triple A OPS slipped from .973 in '07 to .780 this year. You have to wonder if the Cubs will remove the untouchable tag this winter.
- Heyman says there was never any negotiations between the Yankees and Scott Boras regarding Gerrit Cole. The Yanks would've offered $4MM+, but Cole preferred college (at his father's urging).
- Heyman confirms Ian Snell was available before the trade deadline. The Pirates wanted pitching prospect Franklin Morales and then some from the Rockies. Snell is on an affordable long-term contract, so maybe talks will be revisited in December.
Some additional notes from ESPN's Jayson Stark:
- The Mariners still want Jon Niese and another prospect for Raul Ibanez; the Mets are not biting. Similar situation with the Ms asking the Cubs for Felix Pie and another player.
- The Mets aren't in on Jarrod Washburn or Tim Redding.
- The Marlins are making it clear that there is no done deal for Arthur Rhodes. Clark Spencer had written the Fish "could be closer" to a deal for Rhodes than a catcher. Stark says the Mariners are driving a hard bargain for Rhodes, with the Red Sox, Marlins, Phillies, Brewers, Tigers, Mets, Cardinals, and Rays checking in.
To make room on the roster, the Cubs demoted Felix Pie to AAA. Pie was hitting .222/.286/.286.
This is a move that costs the Cubs nothing and could end up with big rewards. Since Pie had minor league options, the Cubs did not have to give up a player in the hopes that Edmonds can turn his season around. Edmonds was hitting .178/.265/.233 at the time of his release, but posted .252/.325/.403 last season for the Cardinals. That marked his first season with an OBP below .350 since he was a member of the Angels in '99.