Winter Meetings 2008: Day Two….More Wheelin’ with No Dealin’

Day two in Las Vegas saw the first of the big name free agents sign a new deal. Francisco Rodriguez agreed to a 3-year deal worth $37 million dollars with the Mets that includes a vesting option for a fourth year. K-Rod appears to have set the market and with him accepting a deal much lower than the 5-year, $75 million dollar deal he was reportedly looking for this winter, his deal with the Mets is also an indication of how much the economic crisis is affecting the game of baseball.

Reports also surfaced on Tuesday afternoon that Kerry Wood was close to signing a two-year deal with the Cleveland Indians, but XM Radio squashed the rumor and stated the sides are talking but “not close to a deal.

On the Cubs front, Tuesday was filled with Jake Peavy, Jake Peavy and more Jake Peavy….with a little Randy Johnson, Raul Ibanez, Milton Bradley and Garrett Anderson, yes Garrett Anderson, thrown in for a little variety. Plus a wild rumor from Baseball Prospectus that centered on Carlos Zambrano…. Time to Get Left-Handed?

According to a report from the Sun-Times, Garrett Anderson is on the Cubs’ radar. Anderson could give the Cubs a short-term, but pricey solution in right-field….Anderson hired Scott Boras at the end of his time with the Angels. Gordon Wittenmyer questioned his ability to handle the Chicago media after spending his career on the West Coast.

The usual suspects were mentioned during the day on Tuesday. Milton Bradley, and one report described the Cubs’ interest in Bradley as being intense, Raul Ibanez and Bobby Abreu.

The Milton Bradley rumors could end up more than just rumors. There is a fit. The Cubs have talked to the Rangers about him. Lou Piniella is strong enough of a manager to ‘handle him‘ and Gerald Perry has a relationship with Bradley. Perry was Bradley’s hitting coach in Oakland.

Jake Peavy

A report from MLB.com indicated on Tuesday night that the deal for Jake Peavy could be getting a little closer after a full day of speculation. Kevin Towers told MLB.com that they have “pretty much settled on the players coming back.” The big hiccup appears to be moving Jason Marquis and some of his $9.875 million dollar contract.

Mark DeRosa appears to be in this deal if it happens and he would go to the Phillies for another young pitcher to send to the Padres.

According to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tom Krasovic spoke with the Cubs and they told him “they are going in a different direction from the Peavy talks but the talks aren’t dead.The Cubs pulled Sean Marshall out of the talks for Peavy and the Cubs want the Padres to take Jason Marquis instead…..the Padres, however, would want the Cubs to pay more than half of Marquis’ contract for next season.

The Padres asked for Angel Guzman according to the Union-Tribune, but the Cubs do not want to move him.

Reports earlier in the day indicated that a deal for Peavy was not close and described the price for Peavy as being “too steep“.

Finally, multiple reports stated Jake Peavy was seen singing “Go Cubs Go” in a karaoke bar in Las Vegas….Barry Axelrod called those reports false.

Mark DeRosa

Bruce Miles mentioned the Cubs could be “selling high” on Mark DeRosa. DeRosa is scheduled to make $5.5 million dollars next season in the last year of the contract he signed in November of 2006.

Randy Johnson

According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs met with Randy Johnson’s agent on Monday. The Cubs view Johnson as a back-up plan if they do not acquire Jake Peavy.

Rich Aurilia

The Sun-Times floated Rich Aurilia’s name as a possibility to serve as a back-up infielder if the Cubs traded Ronny Cedeno and/or Mike Fontenot earlier in the week. Aurilia and Jake Peavy are friends and share the same agent, Barry Axelrod. Axelrod denied the rumor that the Cubs had a deal in place for Aurilia according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Carlos Zambrano

A report early in the day from Baseball Prospectus indicated that a “crazy rumor” was making the rounds at the Winter Meetings. The rumor was, if the Cubs acquired Jake Peavy they would try to trade Carlos Zambrano in a blockbuster“….the one problem, that was pointed out later by Baseball Prospectus, Zambrano has a no-trade clause in his contract.

Check back for updates and don’t forget to read Aaron’s blog from Day Two in Las Vegas…as mentioned, the rumors, right now, are the news, and they are changing by the minute.

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