Have the Cubs Moved on from Peavy?

The on again, off again talks between the Padres and Cubs over a certain former Cy Young Award winner was given a new twist on Tuesday morning after a report in the Chicago Sun-Times by Gordon Wittenmyer. The Cubs’ beat reporter talked with Lou Piniella this past weekend and one of the questions he posed to Piniella centered on the Cubs rumored interest in Jake Peavy and Randy Johnson.

According to the report in the Sun-Times, Piniella was asked about the Cubs still pursuing starting pitching, “such as Jake Peavy or Randy Johnson, even after the Ryan Dempster signing.” Piniella told Wittenmyer, “No. Starting we don’t need. We’re set. We’ve got six good starters (including Sean Marshall), and they’re all experienced. Getting Dempster back was the key. We’re in good shape with our starting pitching.” Piniella added they are looking to add a veteran arm to the pen and stated “we’ve got a lot of young kids out there.

So less than twelve hours after Kevin Towers told Jon Heyman from SI.com that “there’s a chance of maybe putting together a deal with Chicago“, has Jim Hendry moved away from the talks for Jake Peavy and centered on adding the left-handed bat that his skipper desires? Here’s the latest….

Jake Peavy

While multiple outlets picked up the Sun-Times report and stated the Cubs are no longer interested in trading for Jake Peavy. Many still have their doubts. Bob Scanlon (former Cub and a part of the Padres TV broadcast pre and post game show), joined Joe Castellano on XM Radio Tuesday night and he thinks Piniella’s comment is nothing but positioning. He said the Padres missed an opportunity to move Peavy before the free agency period began. There would have been a lot more options for the Padres with other teams but now clubs that are looking for pitching can talk to Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett.

And then there is the report from Jon Heyman on SI.com. While Gordon Wittenmyer spoke with Lou Piniella over the weekend, Heyman spoke with Kevin Towers on Monday. The bottom line is that there are only two people that really knows what is going on at this point….Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers.

The deal for Peavy could never happen and Piniella’s statement could be 100% correct but the fact of the matter is that Piniella cannot comment on another team’s player. Plain and simple, it is against the rules.

There is a section in the rulebook called the Tampering Rule – Rule 3(g).

Rule 3(g) Tampering. To preserve discipline and competition, and to prevent the enticement of players, coaches, managers and umpires, there shall be no negotiations of dealings respecting employment, either present or prospective, between any player, coach or manager and any club other than the club with which he is under contract or acceptance of terms, or by which he is reserved, or which has the player on its Negotiation List, or between any umpire and any league other than the league with which he is under contract or acceptance of terms, unless the club or league with which he is connected shall have, in writing, expressly authorized such negotiations or dealings prior to their commencement.

Not only can Piniella not comment, it would not be wise of him to do so. By saying the Cubs are interested in Peavy it will send the wrong message to the team, especially the players that could be involved in a deal….or, lose their job and-or playing time with the addition of a player like Jake Peavy. So while the Cubs may or may not still be talking to the Padres about Peavy, the only ‘right‘ answer Piniella could give to that question was the one he gave…’No‘.

Raul Ibanez

The Cubs are interested and according to the report from the Sun-Times, Lou Piniella likes Raul Ibanez but has not spoken with him this off-season

“He’s a professional bat, and he’s that type of hitter we’re alluding to. And he’s a great guy, no question. I like the guy.”

Mike Fontenot

One of the biggest blubs in the report from the Sun-Times is that Mike Fontenot will receive time at shortstop in the spring. Piniella likes Fontenot’s offense and wants to find playing time for Fontenot. “And if not, depending on what we do or don’t do, we’ll give him some more playing time at second.

Mark Teahen

A report in the Sun-Times on Tuesday shot down the report from Phil Rogers on Saturday that stated Mike Fontenot and-or Sean Marshall could be dealt to the Royals for Mark Teahen. Gordon Wittenmyer stated the “rumors continue to ring hollow of speculation” and either of those two players would be to “steep” for the Cubs to pay for Mark Teahen.

Bobby Abreu

The Cubs have “not yet contactedBobby Abreu according to a report in the Sun-Times.

Rafael Furcal

The Sun-Times verified once again that the Cubs have talked to Rafael Furcal’s agent. But the A’s, Giants and a third team that is rumored to have offered a 4-year deal to Furcal worth anywhere between $48 and $52 million dollars….and the third team is not the Cubs based on the offer according to the Sun-Times.

Ken Rosenthal reported on Tuesday night that Rafael Furcal met with A’s officials in Oakland according to his sources.

A new name in the mill?

Jeff Passan speculated if the Cubs could be one of four teams in addition to the Rays, Red Sox and Phillies that Rocco Baldelli could be considering.

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

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne