The pending ownership changes for the Cubs and the Padres have impacted Jim Hendry’s ability to trade for Jake Peavy this winter. The Cubs appeared close during the Winter Meetings but reportedly pulled out of the talks due to the Padres player demands and Peavy’s rather large contract.
Since December rumors have indicated Jim Hendry remains interested in trading for Peavy but would have to receive permission from the Cubs new owner to make a deal.
A few weeks back the news surfaced that a group led by Jeff Moorad, former CEO of the Diamondbacks, would try to purchase the Padres from John Moores. Once the announcement was made it appeared Moorad would not deal Jake Peavy and try to build a team around him.
According to a report on Sunday night from the San Diego Union-Tribune, John Moores will “remain as majority owner of the Padres for three or four years, even if the ongoing negotiations with a Jeff Moorad-led group yields an agreement, according to Major League sources.” The Padres are still aiming to cut the payroll for the 2009 season to $40 million, down from $73 million on Opening Day of 2008. The Union-Tribune stated the Padres “are about $5 million over budget for the 40-man roster, having committed $31.2 million to eight players“…..with $11 million owed to Jake Peavy.
The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported on Sunday night that if Jeff Moorad takes control of the front office at some point this year, Padres’ CEO Sandy Alderson is expected to leave.
Bruce Levine reported on Saturday that the pending ownership change in San Diego might hurt the Cubs chances at trading for Jake Peavy. Levine gave the trade an 80% chance of happening a week ago and was far less optimistic a week later. Ken Rosenthal put the Cubs chances at landing Peavy at 10% last week due to the fact Jeff Moorad would probably want to keep Jake Peavy and rebuild around him.
While Kevin Towers has been very vocal throughout the winter, Sandy Alderson has been consistent in his stance, even in recent days Jake Peavy would be with the Padres on Opening Day.
Everything could have changed if these reports are accurate…but the bottom line and the most important move that must be made for the Chicago Cubs this off-season is to have a new owner in place as soon as possible.