If there were any lingering questions about whether the Cubs had pulled back from pursuing San Diego ace Jake Peavy in a trade, manager Lou Piniella answered them this week.And with both the Cubs and Braves out of the picture, the Padres are experiencing that feeling you get when everything is going wrong at once and all you can do is stand there, dumbstruck and frozen:
The Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer asked Piniella at an event in Chicago on Sunday whether the Cubs were still pursuing starting pitching in the wake of their four-year contract extension with free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster.
"No," Piniella was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Sun-Times. "Starting we don't need. We're set. We've got six good starters, and they're all experienced. Getting Dempster back was the key. We're in good shape with our starting pitching. Bullpen-wise, [we're looking for] possibly one more experienced pitcher. We've got a lot of young kids out there."
The lack of progress in a deal involving pitcher Jake Peavy has had a significant effect on the Padres' ability to address their other roster needs this offseason . . . not knowing if the team can or will move Peavy and his $11 million contract for 2009 has all but left Towers in a standby mode until the future of the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner is decided.I realize that the owner's big divorce settlement has thrown a wrench into whatever the plans the Padres had going into this offseason, but did Kevin Towers really not have any sort of a contingency set up in the event that couldn't happen? Was it not always a possibility -- and indeed, was it not arguably preferable -- to wait until the trading deadline next season and send Peavy off to a more desperate suitor?
"That's pretty much it," Towers said. "It's certainly a large sum of money we would be moving. Once that's decided, we will have a better idea of what holes we would be plugging."