Now That’s A Fire! Cubs Rumors from the Stove

The Hot Stove heated up a then caught fire on Wednesday night when Ken Rosenthal reported the Cubs are the front-runners to land Jake Peavy according to major league sources. Rosenthal also reported the Cubs have offered Ryan Dempster a 4-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $50 million dollars….what a neighborhood.

According to Rosenthal, “The Cubs’ young pitching is not as close to the majors as the Braves’ but is still attractive to the Padres, sources say.Rotoworld speculated players such as Felix Pie, Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Mike Fontenot, Rich Hill and Donald Veal could be in the talks for Peavy. Rosenthal reported a deal that would land Peavy in blue pinstripes could cost the Cubs Kerry Wood.

One question, is Jake Peavy this off-season’s Brian Roberts? On the last day of the GM Meetings, here is the rest from the mill….

Rafael Furcal

According to a report from the LA Times, the Cubs are one of seven teams interested in signing Rafael Furcal. The Cubs missed out on Furcal three years ago when Ned Colletti and the Dodgers swept in and offered a more lucrative contract.

Furcal is looking for a 4-year deal and his agent, Paul Kinzer, does not think Furcal’s surgically repaired back should affect Furcal receiving a new contract that “would run to the end of his career.

Furcal would like to stay with the Dodgers, and Colletti would like to keep the shortstop and dangerous leadoff hitter (when healthy) but Frank McCourt, the Dodgers’ owner, has given Furcal’s agent, through a meeting with Ned Colletti, the feeling that Furcal should “explore the free agent market.

Furcal turned 31 in October and played in 159 games in 2006, 138 games in 2007 and only 36 games in 2008. Furcal proved during the NLDS that he is an impact player….when on the field.

Furcal’s Career Stats from Yahoo Sports

Derek Lowe

On Tuesday night and Wednesday, the former Red Sox and Dodgers starter and closer, as well as sinker baller extraordinaire, Derek Lowe was connected to the Cubs by two members of the mainstream media. Dave van Dyck stated, “one possibility to replace Dempster, or even to be added if he returns, is Dodgers’ free agent Derek Lowe.” Lowe is looking for only a 3-year deal. Lowe’s agent is Scott Boras, so it may be 3 years but it will be expensive for the Cubs to sign a pitcher seemingly made to pitch at Wrigley Field.

According to a report in the Daily News, the Mets are interested in Derek Lowe….as well as Ryan Dempster.

Ryan Dempster

The Cubs’ former closer turned a lot of heads last season and is about to cash in….either with the Cubs or some other team. The Mets are “looking at him as a starteraccording to the Daily News but the latest from Ken Rosenthal about an offer from the Cubs in the 4-year, $50 million dollar range could keep Dempster on the North Side for the foreseeable future.

Paul Sullivan and Dave Kaplan discussed on Wednesday night that the Cubs are going to let Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood test the market in order to make sure what the Cubs are offering is a fair deal. Sullivan said he could not imagine them leaving if the offers are fair.

Kerry Wood

As mentioned, Ken Rosenthal reported on Wednesday night that if the Cubs acquire Jake Peavy and resign Ryan Dempster it could spell the end of Kerry Wood’s career as a Cub.

“If the Cubs acquired both pitchers, they might need to part with free agent closer Kerry Wood, reduce their payroll in other areas and pursue a more inexpensive left-handed hitting outfielder than previously planned.”

Joe Beimel

Paul Sullivan mentioned on Sports Central on Wednesday night that Joe Biemel could be an option in the Cubs bullpen to replace the innings logged last season by Bobby Howry. Sullivan said Biemel will be less expensive than other options and has experience as a setup man.

Joe Beimel’s Career Stats from Yahoo Sports

Odds and Ends

Paul Sullivan mentioned on Wednesday night that the Cubs do not seem interested in Bobby Abreu.

Felix Pie is out of options and Lou Piniella’s recent comments concerning a Reed JohnsonKosuke Fukudome platoon in center next season likely means Pie is on his way out of the organization. Sullivan added Piniella “does not have enough patience for Pie.

Kosuke Fukudome is still in Chicago and has not left for Japan yet. Both Kaplan and Sullivan expect him to return this week.

Setting the Bar

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cardinals set the market for starting pitchers this winter when they gave Kyle Lohse a 4-year, $41 million dollar deal. Most think Ryan Dempster is worth more.

Kerry Wood’s new contract could depend on what Brian Fuentes and Francisco Rodriguez sign for. Wood did his job in his first year as a closer, but with Kerry Wood the concern will always center on his injury history.

Bob Brenly

While it appeared Len Kasper would have his familiar partner back next season after the Brewers hired Ken Macha, Bob Brenly was mentioned in a report from the Tribune as being one of seven candidates being interviewed for the manager’s job in Seattle. Brenly, along with Joey Cora, Willie Randolph, Ned Yost, Bobby Valentine, Lloyd McClendon and Jim Riggleman are “expected to be interviewed.

Towers and Hendry

While rumors continue to fly surrounding a possible deal that would land Jake Peavy in a Cubs’ uniform, give Jim Hendry a little credit. Hendry is known for working the phones, apparently he can work the links and the lanes as well. According to a report in the San Diego Union Tribune, Hendry and Padres’ GM Kevin Towers played golf together earlier in the week and Hendry bowled with Towers on Tuesday as a part of a GM function.

Well….that’s the latest, and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver