Padres could rebuild organization by trading star Gonzalez (cont.)
Towers' goal will be to duplicate ChiSox deal
If the Padres are frustrated by Peavy's rejection of the White Sox trade, and they are said to be, it's because they appeared to do as well as possible under the circumstances. Now they will try to duplicate that deal elsewhere.
The Cubs and Dodgers have been identified as two teams having interest, and Barry Rozner of the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald suggested that those two teams have talked to the Padres recently. The suddenly struggling Cubs appear to be Peavy's most preferred place. But their current problems are all about offense.
One Cubs person said he doesn't see a Peavy deal around the corner. And Cubs GM Jim Hendry said by phone, "The rotation's been fine." Hendry, who like Towers is an experienced dealer, is confident the murky status of their ownership won't prevent them from doing deals, though: "I'm optimistic we'll be able to conduct business."
The Dodgers are a team who definitely has the prospects to do a deal. But one friend of Towers said, "He'd have to be nuts to send him to the Dodgers," the biggest division rival and just two-and-a-half hours up I-5 (if traffic permits). Towers himself declined comment on anything specific related to a possible Peavy trade, as he said he doesn't want to repeat the winter circus.
Another possible landing spot could be the Brewers. But there's no guarantee Peavy would OK the Brewers (they weren't on his original, very unofficial list of teams he'd consider). And while they have a top shortstop prospect (Alcides Escobar) who would help the shortstop-less Padres, it's uncertain whether they have the type of pitching prospects to acquire Peavy.
While the White Sox weren't willing to part with their top prospect, shortstop Gordon Beckham (one White Sox person said, "We wouldn't have traded Beckham straight up for Peavy"), the White Sox's four-player offer led by young left-handers Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard was a "good package" under the circumstances, one AL exec said. While it wasn't overwhelming, that exec said, "Kevin Towers is very good at finding pitchers for that ballpark, and [manager] Bud Black's a pitching guy." So it worked for them.
The question is: Is there another one out there that will work, as well.
Lovable Cubs mostly loved by opposing pitchers so far
Next on the list of season surprises, just below the Padres, are the Cubs, who are hearing it from fans expecting more from a team that's very similar to the one that was the best in the regular season last year (not to mention my World Series pick).
"No excuses," Hendry said early Tuesday night before they halted their losing streak. "It's no time to hang our heads. We have to get after it."
And if they don't do that, they're sure to hear it from manager Lou Piniella. "We've got the right guy on the top step," Hendry asserted.
Piniella took a good step by telling Milton Bradley to stop obsessing over umpires after Bradley claimed the umps are out to get him as revenge for a recent run-in. Bradley often says he has been lied to a lot in baseball. But the reality is that someone needs to tell him the harsh truth, which is that he needs to stop complaining and misbehaving. Perhaps Piniella is the man to do that.
The question now is whether they have the right guys in the dugout. Derrek Lee (.248), Geovany Soto (.214), Mike Fontenot (.219), Bradley (.196) and others aren't coming close to their career norms. "Five or six guys who have been good hitters through the majority of their careers are not hitting," Hendry said. "I certainly assume Soto and Lee and Fontenot will hit. Hitters always hit."
You'd think, wouldn't you?
Angels' bid for CC was a lot closer to 161 mill than anyone thinks
There's been a perception out there that the Yankees must have been crazy to give CC Sabathia $161 million when no one was allegedly anywhere close to bidding that high. The belief was that the Brewers were bidding about $100 million, and perhaps a couple other teams were, as well.
However, people familiar with the dealings tell SI.com that the Angels actually made a bid of about $140 million for Sabathia. So the Yankees' decision to go from $140 million to $161 million was not only logical but necessary, especially considering Sabathia is from California and still could have received the highest contract ever for a pitcher by staying in California.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the other day that he was unaware of any $140 million bid by the Angels (though at the time, he said he perceived the biggest threat to be coming from them) and that it doesn't really concern him now. But Cashman did say that he knew one thing, for sure. "We had to have him."
The Angels (whose losing $160 million bid on another new Yankee, Mark Teixeira, is well known) have consistently declined to comment about their proposal to Sabathia. One interesting aspect of their offer to Sabathia was that it came with a fairly quick deadline, believed to be no more than two days.
It was widely perceived that Sabathia preferred to play in California, and his agents consistently said that "all things being equal," he would play in his home state. However, Sabathia's distaste for New York may have been somewhat exaggerated considering he was willing to go to the Bronx for only 15 percent more, and not the 61 percent more that had been assumed.
In any case, Sabathia, who declined comment about the Angels' offer, seems very comfortable in New York so far. He did say he plans to live year-round in New Jersey rather than go back and forth between Vallejo, Calif., and New Jersey. So he must not mind it so much in the Bronx and New Jersey.
MLB Truth & Rumors