Despite talk, Cubs far from Peavy deal
DeRosa linked to possible three-team swap; Hendry not rushing
LAS VEGAS -- Poor Mark DeRosa. Last offseason, he heard endless rumors about how the Cubs were trying to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts, which would've meant DeRosa was out of a regular job. That deal never happened.
On Tuesday, DeRosa was linked to a potential three-team trade involving the Cubs, Padres and Phillies, in which he would go to Philadelphia, which is looking for help while Chase Utley heals.
The Phillies are one of at least five teams that have contacted the Cubs regarding their players as they try to become that "third team" allegedly needed to complete the Peavy-to-Chicago deal. And DeRosa's name isn't the only one being mentioned. At least one team even asked if the Cubs would part with Carlos Marmol.
Teams are trying to see how much the Cubs are willing to give up to get Peavy. Someone familiar with the situation said one scenario has the Phillies getting Jason Marquis from the Cubs and Scott Hairston from the Padres, with Philadelphia sending prospects to the Padres. The Cubs would then have Peavy for the rotation.
"You can't get caught up in everybody's rumors or what people say," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Tuesday. "We feel confident that before we get to camp, we're going to have a better baseball team than we had when the season ended. That's our goal, and we're not worried about time frames or what somebody says we might be doing. It could still change drastically on the type of plan we thought would go down, and we could end up with a different kind of player."
Hendry would not comment on the DeRosa rumors and will not talk about Peavy to avoid being charged with tampering. One thing is certain: A deal is definitely not "close" as reported by some media outlets.
Since he became the Cubs' general manager, Hendry has been involved in one deal involving more than one team, and that was when he acquired Nomar Garciaparra at the Trade Deadline in July 2004.
"We've only made one [multi-team deal] in my GM career, and that was a four-way, and to this day, I'm not quite sure how it happened," Hendry said. "It was a two-way all week, and all of a sudden it became a four. I'm much better served one on one. I'm not quite as efficient as Theo [Epstein] or Billy Beane in multi-tasking, so I keep it as simple as I can."
|"We feel confident that before we get to camp, we're going to have a better baseball team than we had when the season ended. That's our goal, and we're not worried about time frames or what somebody says we might be doing."|
|-- GM Jim Hendry|
The world champion Phillies were the latest linked to the talks, and they have expressed an interest in DeRosa. Who wouldn't? The versatile DeRosa set career highs this season with 21 home runs, 87 RBIs, 103 runs and a .376 on-base percentage. He can play second, third and the outfield. But the Cubs aren't shopping him.
Peavy is owed $63 million over the next four seasons, and the Cubs have been the main target since talks between the Padres and Braves broke down last month.
Towers set a soft deadline to complete a deal this week, but Hendry has said he doesn't have a timetable. The Cubs also are keeping discussions open with representatives for Randy Johnson, who was 11-10 with a 3.90 ERA with the Diamondbacks last season.
There have been reports that the Cubs cannot complete a deal until after the team is sold, but team officials maintain it's business as usual. Cubs chairman Crane Kenney met with Hendry and his staff Tuesday at the Bellagio hotel to give them an update. There are at least three final bidders for the team, which officials say was not affected by the parent Tribune Co.'s decision Monday to file for bankruptcy.
Hendry did meet with a few agents on Tuesday but may leave Las Vegas without having a new left-handed bat in the mix -- or a one-time Cy Young winner in the rotation.
"I feel good knowing that by the time we leave here we will have narrowed the field and maybe work in the direction that we want to go where we see a conclusion possible," Hendry said, "but I certainly wouldn't have a, 'Oh, we'll have a guy by Thursday' -- that would be kind of foolish to do."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.