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According to Ken Rosenthal:

The Cubs are close to re-signing Ryan Dempster. He goes on to say that this will NOT necessarily prohibit the Cubs from trading for Peavy or signing Randy Johnson, or another bat.

He also mentions the fact that the ownership issue will be resolved before Christmas, which falls into line with my prediction that the Cuban thing was a conspiracy set up by Selig to eliminate him from contention.

I'm not quite sure that I like the signing of Dempster. Our entire team will need an overhaul if we keep signing 30+ year old guys. I like Peavy, because he's still young, same with a Dunn signing, etc. But everyone else we've been linked to: Johnson, Furcal, Ibanez, Bradley, etc.----are all over 30

I must comment on the Johnson thing. I believe he would definitely take us over the top. He is a proven winner, and has performed very well when it counts. He's tall, imposing, and still K's a lot of batters. So, here's my proposal to make it happen:

1) In the Peavy trade, Towers said we must involve a 3rd or 4th team. So, the players that have been mentioned include: Marshall, Pie, Hill, Wuertz, Cedeno, Hart, Vitters, Colvin, Atkins, Harden, and Veal.

2) You trade Marshall, Pie, and Cedeno to the Pads (this solves a pitching need, their CF need, and SS need), then, you spin a couple of the others to gain more amm for the trade, and spin those players back to the Pads.

3) This essentially leaves a rotation (and pen) of the following: Z, Peavy, Harden(if he's not included), Dempster, Lilly.
Pen: Gaudin, Cotts, Guzman, Ascanio, Gregg, Samardzija, Marmol (this makes the trade of Ceda even more puzzling and damning to the pen, especially without Wood...but anyways)

4) What I would do next might be unpopular, but if Harden is not included in the original deal, then I would spin him or Marquis (if it's Marquis, then you'd include other players) to the Rockies for Brad Hawpe.

5) Next, you would sign Randy Johnson for one year to keep the seat warm for Samardzija (yet another reason why trading Ceda was a bad idea...LOL, love my bitching?)

6) Next, you would move Theriot to 2B to split time with Fontenot, sign Furcal for SS, and spin DeRosa off, all in the same breath.

7) Next, you trade for Teahen to fill DeRosa's utility role.

8) Finally, you cap it off with a one year, plus player option deal for Wood to return to the pen, thus fortifying a prior weakness.

***essentially, the only salary relief we'd get would be about $17 million between Harden and Marquis, then we'd also get $5 million more with a DeRosa trade (though, I wouldn't really like that move). Randy would cost 6, Dempster's raise would be about 7, Furcal would cost 10, and Hawpe would add 7. So, in all,you're adding a net gain of $7 million right there. I'm not factoring in the Peavy and Wood contracts in this scenario, so perhaps, they add about $16 million more combined. All I know is that pending the personnel involved in the Peavy deal, I believe our surplus of pitching just might turn into a weakness after the trade. We would have to give up no less than: Marshall, Hill, Hart, and Veal. That's 4 guys that could have been called upon if we have injuries.

I love the idea of trading Marquis, Lee, Wuertz, DeRosa, and Fukudome to see what type of top prospects we could get for them. In reality, you're not getting rid of any projected regulars outside of Lee. Unless we don't sign/trade for a lefty bat, then you could consider DeRosa a regular in RF, but that's even iffy after Hendry and Lou's comments the past 2 years with DeRosa, and trying to upgrade (makes little sense to me with his production and salary, but, hey, what do I know). Wuertz might not even make the team out of spring, and Fukudome is on his way to a platoon with Reed Johnson. Hey, how do you like this one: trade Fukudome for a mid-level prospect, and a high ceiling prospect (think Kyler Burke when we traded for him), then you sign Josh Kroeger, who is absolutely tearing up winter ball right now, and platoon him with Johnson. Then, he'd also back-up Hoffpauir at 1B, and if we got Teahen, he could do the same. If Hawpe scares you in RF (b/c, let's face it, all Rockies hitters do outside of Coors), and you're worried about losing Lee's production, then you get my man, Adam Dunn for RF.

Any other problems you would like me to solve???? LOL