Winter Meetings 2008: Day Four….Hendry Has Left the Building

The final day of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas was dominated by the news that the Cubs pulled out of the talks for Jake Peavy. Kevin Towers reportedly wanted a ‘Herschel Walker‘ type deal with the Cubs parting with six or seven players in order to give the Padres what they feel Jake Peavy is worth.

After thinking about the proposed package the Cubs would have parted with on Wednesday night, Jim Hendry told Kevin Towers that the Cubs were moving on and the Paddres; GM made the announcement that the deal was dead. Many question if the talks between Hendry and Towers are in fact over, or just tabled….including Peavy’s agent Barry Axelrod.

Other than the countless reports, questions and rumors, the week was uneventful for Jim Hendry and company. The Cubs were unable to leave Las Vegas with a left-handed bat or Jake Peavy….but they did add a Minor League pitcher, David Patton, through a prearranged trade with the Reds. The Reds took Patton in the Rule 5 Draft and then dealt him to the Cubs for cash.

So where do the Cubs go from here? Apparently Milton Bradley is a top of their priority list, and Bradley reportedly said he want to play for the Cubs. There was also a report that suggested the Cubs have talked to the Mets about Jason Marquis.

Here is a wrap up from the week and the latest on the Cubs front….as well as notes from two interviews with Jake Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod, on Thursday night. Plus, Friday is the last day teams can tender contracts to their arbitration eligible players.

Quote from Kevin Towers on CBS Sports.com:

“We’re asking a lot. To move Jake Peavy, we would plan on getting a lot. We knew going into the winter there were no guarantees.”

Jim Hendry quote from ESPN.com:

“Kevin and I had a lot of very healthy, very honest discussions. But at the end of the day, we had to do what was best for the organization. I just felt like when I weighed the total value of the talent going out against the economics of what was coming in, it was in the best interests of our organization not to make this deal.”

Jim Hendry quote from the Daily Herald:

“It was just one of those rare occasions that we thought it was worth trying to go in and kick the tires and see if it was possible,” Hendry said. “Or, how can we make it work if we can do it? As the week progressed, the volume of the depth we had to give up became the sticking point for me.

“Out of respect to the player, he was worth looking into.”

Barry Axelrod Interviews

Jake Peavy’s agent joined Dave Kaplan on Sports Central (WGN) and Dave Simms and Jose Cruz, Jr. on XM Radio Thursday night. In bullet point format, here are a few of the highlights:

XM Radio

  • Axelrod said the talks between the Cubs and Padres are out of their control
  • Once Peavy was resolved to the fact he would not be pitching in San Diego, he was looking forward to pitching in Chicago
  • Two days ago Axelrod and Peavy were optimistic the deal would get done
  • Yesterday (Wednesday) they became not as sure
  • Towers broke the news to Axelrod and Peavy on Thursday morning the Cubs pulled out of the trade
  • Axelrod said “as of now the talks are off the table” between the Cubs and Padres
  • Axelrod is not sure exactly what happened. He knows the Padres were asking for a lot in terms of prospects and the amount of money the Cubs would have to take on
  • Peavy’s only choice is to readjust his thoughts to pitching back in San Diego next season
  • Peavy is not upset, he is frustrated. Been dealing with this for two months.
  • Axelrod thinks the only alternative is for Peavy to look at starting the season with the Padres
  • Peavy has no ill will against the Padres, just frustrated with the organization
  • Peavy left for Alabama for the holidays to get out of the middle of the whole situation

WGN Radio

  • Dave Kaplan asked Axelrod if he believed the talks between the Cubs and Padres are dead. Axelrod said it is hard to believe anything this time of the year.
  • Axelrod believes the talks are tabled and does not believe anything is over until the player is either signed or traded to another team
  • Kaplan asked again and Axelrod responded by telling him what Kevin Towers stated earlier in the day. “I don’t know if I would call it dead. The talks hit snags.
  • The $4, $5 or $6 million dollars the Cubs would have sent along with Jason Marquis appears to be a part of the problem.
  • Peavy is not devastated, he is frustrated and disappointed
  • Axelrod described Peavy as a pretty successful pitcher, loves to compete, yells at himself on the mound, loves to play the game and is very similar to Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe (two of Axelrod’s clients). Peavy is a charming Southern boy and is an absolute pleasure to be around. Axelrod said Peavy is one of the best clients he’s ever had
  • Kaplan summed up the interview by saying, the talks for Peavy are tabled….not dead.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports, “the Cubs remain optimistic they can acquire Peavy.He wants to pitch for the Cubs but “that deal became too complicated, involving three or four teams and numerous players.

XM Radio also reported on Thursday that Jake Peavy was signing autographs with ‘Go Cubsincluded while he was in Las Vegas earlier in the week.

Jason Marquis

According to a report from Jon Heyman on SI.com, the Mets and Cubs are talking about a possible deal that would include Jason Marquis. The Cubs are still “offering to pay some of Marquis’ salary” and according to Heyman, the Mets might consider trading Scott Schoeneweis to the Cubs to further offset Marquis’ salary.

A report on Cubs.com indicated the Cubs and Mets “may be discussing Marquis“. The report did not mention what the Cubs received but used the report from SI.com as their source. The Mets are looking for a pitcher for the backend of their rotation.

To Tender or Not To Tender

Reports over the past few weeks have suggested that the Cubs could non-tender Chad Gaudin and Ronny Cedeno….but according to a report on Cubs.com, all of the arbitration eligible players will be tendered contracts for 2009. Players eligible for arbitration with between three to six years of Major League service time:

  • Chad Gaudin
  • Neal Cotts
  • Michael Wuertz
  • Kevin Gregg
  • Ronny Cedeno
  • Reed Johnson

Community Blog Posts

There were several good posts on the Community Blog section of the CCO during the week….go check them out.

This one was for my buddy, The Bood….

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

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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