Even with starting pitching at the top of the Phillies' self-proclaimed list of priorities this off-season, it was shocking to see the following headline out of the Winter Meetings today:
7:29 p.m. — Phillies enter Peavy fray
Yeah, don't get excited. The report, courtesy of Ken Rosenthal, links the Phillies to a possible Jake Peavy deal as a third party—one that likely sends a package from Philly to the team currently with Peavy, but receives a player from the team that actually receives the ace. In this case, that latter team is the Cubs. Oh goodie! Let's find a way to help improve the Cubs' chances to block our path to a repeat performance by assembling the scariest rotation in baseball.
So what would we get in return?
Rosenthal [originally] had this to say:
The World Series champion Phillies are active on at least two fronts.
They have shown interest in Twins' outfielder Delmon Young and also
have emerged as a possible third team in the ongoing discussions
between the Cubs and Padres regarding right-hander Jake Peavy.
The Padres like some of the Phillies' young minor-league pitchers,
major-league sources say, but the talks are only in the preliminary
The Cubs continue to seek a landing spot for right-hander
Jason Marquis, whose $9.875 million salary would need to be cleared to
create payroll flexibility for the addition of a left-handed hitter
The Cubs tried to interest the Phillies in Marquis, but received only lukewarm interest.
So, we'd get Marquis' 4.55 career ERA, enabling the Cubs to clear room for Peavy. Something feels... not right. I guess if the Cubs are deadset on getting Peavy, there's no harm in finding a way to benefit. But I'm not sure Marquis fits that description.
And, we hear another mention of interest in Delmon Young today... If ever there were a gift from the blogging gods—some sort of repayment for the lack of sufficient Anna Benson material, Delmon Young would be it. Still... At what cost?
Update: Twins' beat writer on Phils and Young:
It would take more than Jason Donald for the Twins to make that deal.
The Phillies are looking for a corner outfielder to replace Pat Burrell
but because Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz are recovering from injuries,
they feel inclined to hold onto Donald.
Update: The Padres GM says there's a deal on the table, and it's up to the Cubs whether it gets done:
Towers, who had a discussion with [Cubs GM] Hendry earlier Monday,
said he had been in contact with a third and a fourth team - believed to be the
Orioles and Phillies - and has gotten both sides to agree to the players in
play who could be moved in a deal.
DeRosa Update: The Padres are looking at getting Mark DeRosa involved to send him to the Phillies. DeRosa could play 2B until Chase gets healthy, then maybe move to LF. Jim Salisbury confirms the Phils are working on such a deal, and shares these vitals on the righthanded hitter:
DeRosa, who turns 34 in February, hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs
in 149 games for the Cubs last season. He played six positions during
the season, including 95 games at second base and 27 in left field.
DeRosa is signed for 2009 at a reasonable $5.5 million.
Salibury links JA Happ to the deal, and also says the Phils are still open to acquiring lefty bat Raul Ibanez. Delmon Young, he hears, is lower down on their list.