J.A. Happ Rumors

Rosenthal On Lee, Reds, D’Backs, Buchholz

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests the Phillies may find Cliff Lee nearly as appealing as Roy Halladay because the Indians lefty makes just $11.5MM through 2010 and Halladay makes over $20MM before the end of next year. Rosenthal says the Phils could package rookie standout J.A. Happ with Carlos Carrasco and Dominic Brown to get the Indians' attention. Here are the rest of his rumors:

  • Though some say the Jays need to acquire Brown or Kyle Drabek in any deal for Halladay, Rosenthal points out that some scouts like Jason Knapp and Michael Taylor just as much.
  • The Reds would like to move some of their expensive starters and relievers to make room for younger pitchers, Rosenthal says. 
  • Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang and Francisco Cordero make enough to scare some suitors away, and while a salary swap is possible, Rosenthal says the Reds are more likely to make offseason deals. 
  • Jon Garland, Doug Davis and Carl Pavano are drawing little attention. Teams' unwillingness to take on salary limits interest in the two D'Backs starters.
  • Michael Wuertz and Rafael Betancourt are drawing "heavy attention," but the A's seem likely to keep Wuertz.  
  • It would be tough for the Angels to give Brandon Wood up for George Sherrill, especially since Wood could start at third next year if the team doesn't re-sign Chone Figgins
  • It seems unlikely that the Red Sox would trade Clay Buchholz for Victor Martinez. If he's moved at all, Buchholz would likely be dealt for a premium young hitter.  
  • Orlando Cabrera's hitting better and he could interest the Mariners, Cardinals, Twins, Reds and Mets.  
  • The Mariners are one of many teams interested in Josh Willingham. 
  • The Rockies are reluctant to deal Ryan Spilborghs, and refused a Phillies offer that included two quality prospects. 


Sherman On Phillies, Rockies, Marlins

Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains how Jason Marquis and Ryan Spilborghs almost became Phillies and names a dangerous NL East team:

  • A few weeks ago the Phillies and Rockies seriously discussed a deal that would have sent Marquis and Spilborghs to the Phillies for J.A. Happ and prospects. 
  • The Phillies would have acquired an innings eater and a righty bat, while the Rockies would have shed payroll and acquired young talent.  
  • The Rockies began an extended hot streak after the trade talks began, so they decided not to make the deal.
  • Colorado is now quietly in search of a veteran reliever.  
  • Some believe the Marlins are a threat to win the NL East because of their talented young rotation.
  • Sherman reminds us that the Marlins have "one of the most aggressive, successful front offices in the majors."


Phillies Bullpen Update

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki notes that the Phillies still have a few holes in their bullpen.  The club has expressed interest in Joe Beimel, Will Ohman, and Randy Flores this offseason, but those guys are still seeking relatively expensive (and lengthy) contracts. 

"They’re looking for the multiyear deals," GM Ruben Amaro said Wednesday. "It’s more an issue of length than dollars, I think."

Zolecki believes that the Phillies may ultimately decide to solve their bullpen issues from within.  Chan Ho Park could make for a useful long reliever if he’s unable to crack the starting rotation.  Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ might also have to settle for bullpen roles and should provide the Phillies with a couple of serviceable middle relievers until left-hander J.C. Romero returns from suspension.



Jake Peavy Rumors: Tuesday

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.


Jake Peavy Rumors: Monday

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.


Phils, Cards Battle For Holliday

According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Phillies and Cardinals are the top suitors for Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.

The Phillies discussed Holliday and Brian Fuentes with the Rockies during the season.  The Rockies have an eye on Carlos Carrasco, J.A. Happ, and Shane VictorinoTodd Zolecki believes Jayson Werth could be in the mix.

The Cardinals have been aggressive, and Ryan Ludwick is their bargaining chip.  Joe Strauss says the Cardinals would like to try to sign Holliday to an extension, but may not have the leverage to require a window.  The Cards would like to get something done soon.  Ludwick alone seems a pretty solid return for Holliday, since the Rockies would have him for three years.  Strauss adds that the Mets are also in the running for Holliday.


Odds and Ends: Rhodes, Happ, Manny

Let’s round up some links and rumors.


Odds and Ends: Eaton, Dykstra, Lohse, Burnett

Let’s round up some linkage.


Odds and Ends: Happ, Igawa, Hawkins, Lowe

Rounding up rumors and links from the weekend…