Here is the latest from insider Bruce Levine-
- Levine said that the Cubs and Padres will talk about a deal coming up this week at the GM meetings. The two teams have not exchanged names but he feels that Marshall would be the Padres first choice, with Ronny Cedeno, then Felix Pie. He does say that those 3 alone would not get Peavy, and that one or two young good players along with them. Levine stated that Marshall could win 12-13 games for the Padres, Ronny Cedeno would fill the spot of Khalil Greene(who is likely to be traded), and Felix Pie would be ideal to patrol the spacious outfield of Petco. Sounds good to me, get it done!
- Levine also said that Jim Hendry's top priority this off-season is to solidify the pitching staff. He could do that by re-signing Ryan Dempster and trading for Jake Peavy. It is also noted that just because the Cubs sign Dempster does not mean they will not go after Peavy. They want BOTH!
- The Padres would like to get the Peavy deal done sooner rather than later said Levine. Towers is reportedly looking for 4-5 players for Jake to help them rebuild for 09,10, and 11.
- Bruce also addressed the middle infield for next season. He said that it is not a guarantee that Theriot will be starting at SS for the Cubs next season. Of course Furcal's name is on everyone lips because he is an ideal SS that would be our leadoff guy. Furcal is neither a Type A or B free agent so will not cost the Cubs anything as far as draft picks. Levine thinks it is a very good possibility that Furcal could end up on the north side if not resigned by the Dodgers.
- Levine said the Cubs and Dempster talked last week about a deal that would keep him on the northside. Dempster's agent is looking for a 5 year deal which the Cubs are not interested in. The Cubs are willing to offer him a 3 year deal, four tops. Bruce goes on to say that going beyond a 4 year deal for Dempster would not be a smart move, and I agree. He thinks that the Cubs need to re-sign Dempster before Nov. 13th or he is as good as gone. I think he stays with a 4 year deal with an option.
- On the Cubs radar according to Levine is Raul Ibanez and Milton Bradley. Although Raul's numbers have been really steady throughout his career, he is 36 years old and plays the outfield about as good as Dunn. Milton Bradley on the other hand has similar numbers, is a switch hitter, younger, cheaper, and would play a little bit better outfield. Easy decision there, Bradley!
- Jim Edmonds will play next year but not for the Cubs. Jim will not retire but with the Fukudome/Pie/Johnson idea for CF there is no place for Jimmy Ballgame.