The early off-season rumors surrounding the Cubs might have gone from pure speculation to the point of absurdity on Saturday afternoon. While the Rays and Phillies are in the middle of a very good World Series, Phil Rogers stepped way out on the proverbial limb by stating, “don’t be surprised if Jim Hendry tries to put together a package that would include a swap of first basemen, Derrek Lee and Adrian Gonzalez, who is supposedly untouchable.”
The Cubs might have enough in the system to pry away Jake Peavy and Khahil Greene, who the Padres want to move, because of San Diego’s wish to trim the payroll but to have enough to put “together a package” that included Adrian Gonzalez, one of the few cost-effective, productive players, on the Padres roster is a more than a little far fetched. Derrek Lee has a San Diego connection (1st round pick of the Padres in the 1993 draft, 14th overall) and rumors have suggested that Lee would waive his no trade clause to play on the West Cost. Lee was traded from the Padres organization in December of 1997, along with Rafael Medina and Steve Hoff, for Kevin Brown but Lee is owed $26 million over the final 2 years of his contract. Gonzalez is signed through the 2010 season with a club option for 2011. Gonzalez is scheduled to make $3 million in 2009 and $4.75 million in 2010, the club option for 2011 was increased from $5.5 million to $5.6 million (without a buyout) after Gonzalez made the NL All-Star squad in 2008. (Source: Cot’s Contracts)
Gonzalez would add the left-handed bat that Lou Piniella desires but the Padres trading not only their best pitcher, and reigning Cy Young Award winner, but their best position player would make no sense for the organization….no matter how bad the front-office is wanting payroll shed (plus Lee would be adding to and not subtracting from).
Rumors, however, have suggested that the Padres want Khalil Greene included in a deal with Jake Peavy. Greene has apparently worn out his welcome in San Diego and could benefit from a change of scenery. Greene is owed $6.5 million in 2009….the final year of a 2-year extension he signed last winter.
The Hot Stove season has become very popular over the years because it allows fans to debate and dream throughout a long winter, but sometimes speculation from the mainstream media must come with accountability….