Towers Focused on Cubs

The Jake Peavy rumors picked up a little steam on Monday night. Kevin Towers was quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune as saying:

“It’s really come down to one club now – the Cubs. It’s going to take awhile. They have a couple of players to pick from that we are interested in but anything with them is going to potentially involve a third or fourth teams. We’re focusing only on them.”

Multiple reports over the weekend suggested the Cubs might be out of the running but as Bruce Levine on ESPN 1000 stated, the Cubs are still in on the Jake Peavy talks with the Padres. According to a report from MLB.com, Kevin Towers has not “engaged Yankees GM Brian Cashman in anything that resembles a serious discussion about Peavy.” The report indicated Towers has not had direct conversations with Cashman. The Padres are looking for “a Major League-ready starting pitcher” in a deal for Peavy and it would likely take another team to get involved for Peavy to pitch on the North Side (and beyond) next season.

Reports over the weekend also suggested Peavy would want his $22 million dollar option for 2013 picked up. If that is the case, the club that lands Peavy would be responsible for 5 years and $81 million dollars.

Rick Sutcliffe and Mark Grace continue to talk up Chicago and Wrigley Field to Jake Peavy according to Fred Mitchell of the Tribune.

The Rest of the Mill

Ken Rosenthal joined Ed Randall on Baseball This Morning (XM Radio) during his normal Monday time slot and the rumors of Randy Johnson to the Cubs was one of the many topics discussed. Rosenthal reiterated what Bruce Levine reported over the weekend that Randy Johnson is the Cubs back-up plan if they cannot trade for Jake Peavy or resign Ryan Dempster.

Randy Bush on Baseball This Morning

The Cubs Assistant GM was also on Monday’s edition of Baseball This Morning. Randy Bush told Ed Randall that he is looking forward to getting past 2008 and putting a good club on the field in 2009. Bush talked about the Cubs struggles in October and said they would keep plugging away until they kick the door down.

Bush talked briefly about Randy Johnson and praised the future Hall of Famer. He said Johnson is a tremendous competitor but the Cubs number one priority is bringing back Ryan Dempster. Bush added the negotiations with Dempster are going well and they are hopeful they will be able to resign him.

The Cubs are looking at other alternatives in case they lose Dempster and that is where Randy Johnson figures into the equation. Bush mentioned the ‘hometown discounts‘ that Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano took in order to remain a Cub and the feeling was they are hoping Dempster will do more of the same. Bush stated Dempster wants to stay and they want him to stay.

Randy Bush discussed Kerry Wood and the decision to ‘move on‘ from the longtime Cub. Bush said Kerry has been a big part of the organization for the past 14 years and it was a hard decision. Wood desires a multi-year contract according to Bush and knowing that Carlos Marmol is ready to step in to the closer’s role, they felt the money that would be used on Wood, would be better served spent in other areas. Bush mentioned the starting rotation and a left-handed bat.

The Cubs think Kevin Gregg is a great fit for them in 8th or 9th innings and went on to say they are very excited about the bullpen moving forward. He added certain players are going to have to step up but with Neal Cotts, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Hart and Angel Guzman (Bush did not mention Chad Gaudin), along with Marmol and Gregg, they have a solid group in the pen.

Kerry Wood

John Perrotto writes a weekly column on Baseball Prospectus called ‘Every Given Sunday‘ and while most of his column is by subscription only, it is a very good read and always worth the time. In his most recent column under the NL Rumors and Rumblings section, “breaking up to make up could be Kerry Wood, who may return to the Cubs on a low-budget contract.” Perrotto went on to explain with a market flooded with relief pitching and with not a lot of interest being shown in Wood by other teams could be the factors that land Wood back in his familiar blue pinstripes next season.

Scott Miller from CBS Sports.com joined Jim Memolo on Monday night and he said it is a bad year to be a closer on the open market. Miller thinks the only team that might offer a 3-year contract to Kerry Wood is the Texas Rangers, but with Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodriguez, Brandon Lyon and Brian Fuentes, there might not be as much money spent on closers this winter as in years past. Miller also believes that the Cubs left a small crack in the door for Wood to return and until he signs with another team, do not count him out of pitching for the Cubs again.

CCO Updates

Just a reminder to all of the readers….check out the new ‘Community Blog‘ section of the CCO. There are several good blogs and ‘news you can use‘ posted in everyday. And if you would like to write your own, just sign-up for an account and blog away.

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