Moving Marquis and Other Rumblings

Did the trade of Javier Vazquez by the White Sox provide a market for Jason Marquis? Many feel Jim Hendry must move Jason Marquis and the $9.875 million he is owed for next season in order to clear space in the budget to add Jake Peavy and his contract to the Cubs rotation. Marquis would be a reliable fifth starter in any rotation, including the Cubs, but they apparently have their sights set on adding Jake Peavy….along with a left-handed bat.

With only four shopping days before the Winter Meetings, here’s updates from the mill on Milton Bradley, Jake Peavy, Kerry Wood and Jason Marquis….as well as an addition to Jim Hendry’s staff.

Updated – 8:03am C.T.Khalil Greene Traded to the Cardinals

Jake Peavy

Are the Cubs still talking to the Padres or have they moved on? It really depends on which members of the mainstream media you wish to believe. Here’s why, all of these quotes appeared in various reports on Wednesday….

  • Bruce Miles – “The Cubs still are interested in Peavy, but they’re willing to wait.
  • The New York Post – “At this moment, the only team that the Padres are talking to about Peavy is the Cubs.
  • Jayson Stark from ESPN – “It’s funny how none of the Jake Peavy-to-the-Cubs rumors these days seem to be originating on the North Side of Chicago. In fact, one Cubs official told a source that they consider their talks with the Padres to be not active at the moment.
  • Tim Brown from Yahoo Sports – “Despite reports to the contrary, the Cubs remain engaged in talks to acquire Jake Peavy from the Padres.
  • New York Daily News – “According to sources, the Braves have all but ended talks with San Diego about Jake Peavy, as have the Cubs.

According to a report from Baseball Prospectus, the Orioles “are willing to help broker a deal” with the Padres that would allow the Cubs to acquire Jake Peavy. The Orioles asking price from the Cubs has increased from Baltimore only receiving Felix Pie in return to now include Ronny Cedeno.

But did a report from the New York Post on Wednesday shed a little light on the three-team deal? According to the Post, “the expectation is that Khalil Greene will be moved even before the Winter Meetings start in Las Vegas on Monday.” The Post’s sources did not “divulge to which team“, “but the Orioles and Cardinals are among a small group of clubs that are working hard to find a shortstop.

Could Khalil Greene be involved in the Jake Peavy trade? The Padres tried to trade Greene to the Orioles for Garrett Olson and the Orioles wanted more…. Or have the Cardinals landed Greene? A late report from the Post indicated that Greene could be headed to St. Louis…..but the Post is the only source for this deal as of this writing. Stay tuned…

Tim Brown reported that a Padres source said “the club had uncovered two teams which could provide the players to complete a trade.” Brown stated the Orioles appear to be one of the teams, but did not reveal the other club.

Jason Marquis

According to a report on FOX Sports.com using the Star Ledger as its source, stated “the Mets had talks with the Cubs about a deal that would send Aaron Heilman to Chicago for right-hander and New York native Jason Marquis.” The Cubs were willing to pay some of Marquis’ salary according to the report, “but the Mets passes because they’re trying to include Heilman in other deals.” The report mentioned Marquis “seems more likely to end up in Cincinnati, Colorado or Arizona, if anywhere.

Milton Bradley

Bruce Miles asked the question on Wednesday, ‘How about Milton Bradley for the Cubs?‘ Before Miles made his case for the Cubs signing Bradley, he took a trip down memory lane and brought up the rumored meeting between Dusty Baker and Milton Bradley three years ago. Many did not want the controversial outfielder added to the Cubs roster then, but the tune has changed on the North Side and Bradley mellowed a little last season.

Miles served up Bradley’s great numbers from last year (.321/.436/.563/.999 with 32 doubles and 22 home runs in 126 games) and pointed out Bradley’s .999 OPS led the American League. Bradley made $5.25 million in 2008 and was offered arbitration by the Rangers. Miles thinks Bradley will receive a big raise but could still be more affordable than Raul Ibanez and Bobby Abreu.

The problem with Milton Bradley has always been Milton Bradley. Miles said that Lou Piniella “gets paid the big bucks to manage the clubhouse, and he does a pretty good job of it. With guys like Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa, Geovany Soto, Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster already there, Bradley should have no problems, and nor should the Cubs.

All valid points….

Kerry Wood

According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals “are not ruling out a pursuit of a closer such as Brian Fuentes or Kerry Wood if the glut of closers start to produce free-agent bargains.” The Cardinals have been rumored to be interested in Kerry Wood since the Cubs traded for Kevin Gregg.

Louie Eljaua

Jim Hendry added Louie Eljaua, a longtime scout, to his staff on Wednesday according to a report from Cubs.com. Eljaua (pronounced el-HOW-ah) will assist in all areas of international, pro and amateur scouting. Eljaua has 17 years of big league experience and spent the last 5 years as a special assistant to the general manager in Pittsburgh.

Adam Dunn

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Braves, Nationals and Mariners “are among the teams interested in Adam Dunn” according to his sources. The Cubs and Dunn have been mentioned in passing this off-season, but not of late.

Quote from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“The Cubs, whose payroll reportedly is busting at the seams, may not have the money to add Peavy, who is guaranteed $11 million next season and $63 million over the next four years. They also have less talent to offer than Atlanta did in recent weeks. Nor do the pitching-rich Cubs especially need Peavy, yet they remain potential dealmakers if GM Jim Hendry can figure out how to make the dollars match and offer enough pitching in return. Don’t count him out. He is one of the more creative GMs, and he and Padres GM Kevin Towers have made several trades with one another.”

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

UpdateAccording to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres have traded Khalil Greene to the Cardinals for two pitching prospects. The deal of Greene to the Cardinals could have an impact on the Padres dealing Jake Peavy.

Two quotes from the Union-Tribune of note:

“The move could improve the club’s chances of retaining ace pitcher Jake Peavy or gaining leverage in trade talks involving Peavy, who is guaranteed $11 million next year and $63 million over the next four years.”

“Utility man Luis Rodriguez replaced Greene last season, but the Padres may look to find a full-time shortstop to replace Greene.”

Quote of the Day

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