The Results Are In….From the Rumor Mill

Baseball’s off-season is in full swing less than a week after the completion of the World Series. Players are opting out of their contracts and filing for free agency. Clubs are not picking up players’ options and are busy shuffling their 40-man rosters. The rumor mill is buzzing as the GM’s discuss a variety of topics in Dana Point, California from arbitration to the economics of the game to setting the table for future trades this winter.

Here is the latest from the mill on Jake Peavy and Ryan Dempster….

Jake Peavy

Scott Miller from CBS Sportsline joined Charley Steiner during the Baseball Beat on Tuesday afternoon and discussed the latest concerning Jake Peavy. Miller told Steiner that he was told the Cubs have offered Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno and Rich Hill to the Padres for Peavy. His report on CBS Sportsline.com mentioned the same three names with ‘among others‘ added to the end of the sentence. Steiner called those three players (Hill, Cedeno and Pie) ‘spare parts for the Cubs‘. Towers and Jim Hendry played golf on Sunday, but Towers spent most of his time looking for his ball according to Scott Miller.

Barry Axelrod on XM Radio

Jake Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod, joined Holden Kushner on XM Radio Tuesday afternoon and discussed the latest news surrounding his client. Axelrod told Kushner there is a lot of interest from around the league about acquiring his client and that the Padres approached him about being traded this off-season. Peavy does have a full no-trade clause in his contract until the completion of the 2009 season. Next winter, Peavy’s no trade clause drops to only 14 teams he can block a deal with. Holden went on to ask Axelrod about the destinations on Peavy’s list.

Axelrod reiterated throughout the interview that Peavy preferred to stay in San Diego and that the Padres presented Peavy with the idea of him being traded. Apparently the Padres’ organization is anticipating a long haul back to contention and they wanted to give Peavy a way to play for a winning team….as well as cut payroll.

Axelrod confirmed Peavy would prefer to stay in the National League and has not discussed a possible destination with the Padres, much less approved one….Axelrod used the word ‘strongly‘ to describe Peavy’s desire to stay in the Senior Circuit. The Padres asked for a list of teams he would approve a trade to in order not to waste either Peavy’s or another organization’s time.

Axelrod confirmed the list included the Cubs, Dodgers, Braves, Astros and Cardinals and that he and Peavy have not had a discussion about a team in the American League. Axelrod said that they have not talked about the Yankees or the Angels but did confirm that Peavy was asked about being traded to one team and Axelrod said Peavy told the Padres ‘no…. Rumors on Tuesday suggested that team was the Red Sox, but Axelrod would not elaborate and told Kushner that he and Peavy agreed not to discuss the teams that Peavy rejects during this process. Kushner confirmed the statement from Axelrod and he reiterated that the Padres have only asked about one team and they have given a response about only one team.

Axelrod said it was conjecture in reference to the rumors concerning the Yankees and the Angels being added to Peavy’s list on Monday.

Jake Peavy would prefer to stay with the Padres and specifically on the West Coast. Kushner asked Axelrod about Atlanta and he said there would be a little edge for Peavy because he is from Alabama. Axelrod said Peavy and his family decided to make San Diego their home last year when Peavy agreed to the contract extension and that San Diego will remain Peavy’s home….regardless of where Peavy is playing next season and beyond.

Axelrod described Peavy as a very competitive person that losing does not sit well with. Peavy and Axelrod have been very happy with the great communication from the Padres to this point in the process. Peavy did not see this coming and Axelrod said it ‘stung‘ a little but that Peavy realizes that baseball is a business.

Finally, Holden Kushner asked Barry Axelrod about being the agent for Padres’ GM Kevin Towers. Axelrod said he was not Towers’ agent now but was his agent when he was a player. Axelrod feels he and Towers do a good job of separating business from their personal relationship.

Ryan Dempster

A report from Ken Rosenthal over the weekend indicated that Ryan Dempster is going to test the market and “does not intend to sign with the Cubs before their exclusive negotiating period with him expires on November 13th.” Rumors have suggested the Cubs interest in Jake Peavy could increase if Ryan Dempster signs with another organization. Dempster does not appear close to resigning with the Cubs as of this writing.

The Braves have contacted Ryan Dempster’s agent according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. David O’Brien also reported that the Cubs made an offer to Dempster believed to be worth 3 years and $36 million dollars. O’Brien stated the feeling is that Dempster will resign with the Cubs but he wants to make sure “he’s not taking a far lesser deal.

Kerry Wood

Ken Rosenthal pointed out on Tuesday that if the Cubs lose Kerry Wood to free agency they could replace him with Carlos Marmol as the team’s closer. With Marmol pitching in the 9th inning, Jeff Samardzija or Kevin Hart could be used in Marmol’s setup role….or they could go out and find a replacement for Marmol.

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From the Inbox

Evan over at MVN Outsider sent the CCO a link to his GM series focused on the Chicago Cubs. If you have a chance, take a look and let Evan know your thoughts. He brings up several interesting solutions to the Cubs off-season needs….

MVN.com – Outsider – Being the GM: 2009 Chicago Cubs

Well, that’s the latest from the mill and I’m sticking to it!

Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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