Peavy deal won't be easy for Cubs
Shedding big contract likely necessary to acquire Padres ace
CHICAGO -- The Cubs could still acquire Jake Peavy, but it will take some clever maneuvering by general manager Jim Hendry.
Sources on Monday echoed manager Lou Piniella's statements last week that it's unlikely the Cubs can add Peavy because of his hefty contract and because the team has other issues to address, such as finding a left-handed hitter. Other sources, however, said on Monday that the team hasn't ended talks regarding the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner and that the only way to pull off a deal will be to subtract one of the Cubs' other high-priced players.
Peavy, who is owed $63 million through 2013, has made it clear the Cubs are one of the teams for which he would waive his no-trade clause. But the Cubs have about $55 million committed in '09 to Ryan Dempster ($8 million), Carlos Zambrano ($17.75 million), Ted Lilly ($12 million), Jason Marquis ($9.875 million) and Rich Harden ($7 million) -- that's more than $54 million for their projected rotation. The figure doesn't include other prorated contracts to players such as Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome.
The Cubs would have to deal someone -- Marquis, for example -- to have room on the payroll for Peavy.
Plus, because the Cubs apparently don't have the young talent the Padres want, another team would have to get involved. Sources said a three-way deal isn't close to being finalized.
There are reports that the Padres are interested in Orioles right-hander Garrett Olson, who was 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA in 33 Major League starts. Baltimore executive Andy MacPhail knows the Cubs' farm system well, having served as team president from 1994-2006. Reports say the O's are watching outfielder Felix Pie, who was hitting .326 in 14 games for Licey in the Dominican Republic.
Hendry wasn't available Monday and will not comment on trades or possible free-agent signings. All the discussion is a precursor to next week's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.