Hot Stove roundup: Peavy field shrinks

Hot Stove roundup: Peavy field shrinks

Narrow the field to three that will try to acquire Jake Peavy.

Those involved appear to be the Cubs, Braves and either the Cardinals or the Astros. One team absent, though, is the Yankees according to Peter Abraham of LoHud.com. The lone certainty is the Padres will be trading the 2007 NL Cy Young winner.

"That train has left the station," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said as he left the General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, Calif.

Aside from the speculation on free agents CC Sabathia, Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixeira, the trade of Peavy has been one of the key stories of the GM Meetings that concluded Thursday.

And it was the only one that had a chance of getting settled during the four-day assembly of baseball executives as the top-flight free agents will likely test the open market that begins Nov. 14.

When and to whom Peavy might go is still undecided but Towers added it could be a multiteam deal.

"It's been narrowed down for quite a while and there have been no additions," Towers said.

The Yankees surfaced in a New York Daily News report that cited right-hander Phil Hughes and outfielder Austin Jackson with right-hander Ian Kennedy to round out a possible package.

One stumbling block to that is Peavy's full no-trade provision on a contract that will guarantee the right-hander $63 million over the next four years with an option in 2013.

Further, Peavy has expressed his desire to remain in the National League and the Padres see greater avenues in the NL to satisfy their shopping list of at least two Major League ready pitchers and possibly a position player to round out the deal.

The two leaders appear to be the Braves and the Cubs, according to a report on Foxsports.com. The Braves are offering shortstop Yunel Escobar and left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes or right-hander Charlie Morton in addition to a prospect, the report said.

Escobar is a player the Padres have targeted from the beginning. No names have been offered on the Cubs proposal, which has fueled speculation on a third team.

The Cubs are also trying to re-sign right-hander Ryan Dempster, but the asking price has climbed as high as $70 million over five years, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has reportedly been "very interested" in Peavy since the meetings began Monday but more so with Dempster's apparent contract designs.

The Padres have also been looking to move shortstop Khalil Greene, who is owed $6.5 million in 2009 before becoming a free agent the following year. The Orioles, Tigers and Blue Jays have interest but the Reds have said they do not. The club had a payroll of $73 million in 2008 but that could drop as low as $40 million in 2009, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Hot Stove

Two pieces of business left for the Padres are picking up Brian Giles' $9 million option for 2009, which they are expected to do, and re-signing reliever Trevor Hoffman. The Padres have offered baseball's all-time leading closer $4 million next season with a $4 million 2010 option, according to the U-T.

A possibility for the Yankees is Mike Cameron. The Yankees have spoken to the Brewers about the center fielder in a possible swap for outfielder Melky Cabrera and maybe a pitcher, according to the New York Post.

The Brewers recently picked up Cameron's $9 million option for 2009 but are looking for help from the left side and Cabrera is a switch-hitter. Wilson Betemit could also be included, according to the same report.

Like Peavy, Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday has been a hot topic of trade rumors.

There seems to be little question that he will be dealt, as the Rockies have not shied away from the topic of next season without Holliday and others like Garrett Atkins and Willy Taveras. Uncertain, as always, is where.

Holliday presents an issue for any team. He is owed $13.5 million next season, his last before free agency.

The Phillies are a reasonable destination, especially if they do not or decide to not bring Pat Burrell back. A report in SI.com describes the World Series champs as "one of the most aggressive pursuers" of Holliday. The Rockies could use Shane Victorino, the newly minted NL Gold Glove center fielder, but it is unclear if the Phillies would be interested in moving him.

Count the A's as contenders for Holliday as well, according to the Denver Post, with Tampa Bay and St. Louis also in the running.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Cardinals also have interest in Holliday and cited Ryan Ludwick as a possible candidate to go to Colorado.

One rumor that took on water was an offer by the agent for Rockies closer Brian Fuentes to the Mets that was reported in the Rocky Mountain News. It said there was a reported four-year deal for $44 million.

Rick Thurman of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, who represent Fuentes, called the report a "total fabrication," according to the Denver Post. Teams are not allowed to discuss money with free agents from other teams until Nov. 14.

On the free agent front, the Nationals could be ready to make a play for Teixeira. The Nats have interest and Buster Olney of ESPN.com opined they will be making a "significant offer."

The Angels have exclusive negotiating rights through next Thursday, but it will be open season on Nov. 14. Olney believes the Angels will offer between $100-120 million. If that is rejected, expect the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles to also join the bidding process.

With Francisco Rodriguez, Garret Anderson, Jon Garland, Juan Rivera, and Darren Oliver all free agents in addition to Teixeira, the Angels have considerable work to do this offseason.

"I don't think there's a clear-cut favorite [in the Teixeira derby]. There will come a point where we'll have to make a decision -- whether we're in or not," Angels GM Tony Reagins told MLB.com. "We don't want to jeopardize other decisions we have to make."

As for Rodriguez, agent Paul Kinzer is apparently having second thoughts about demands for $75 million over five years. Kinzer said during an interview on ESPN radio that nothing has been predetermined.

That opens the door considerably for teams looking to bid for Rodriguez, including his former team.

The Red Sox remained interested in catching help with the possible loss of free agent Jason Varitek and are taking a good look at the Rangers, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has apparently targeted Texas catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden but has also spoken to Scott Boras, Varitek's agent.

Boras is seeking a deal similar to the four-year $52.4 million deal Jorge Posada signed last winter, the Globe reported.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.