LAS VEGAS -- The Phillies are in the market for a starting pitcher, and that hurler could be free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe.
Thus far, there's been a lot of chatter with representatives of unsigned free agents and clubs about trades, but nothing is particularly hot at the moment.
A report by SI.com on Tuesday indicated that the Phillies and Yankees were the front-runners in the derby to sign Lowe, who is represented by agent Scott Boras. Lowe is in the market for a five-year deal worth in the vicinity of $80 million.
"We've talked to Lowe, we've talked to his representative," Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "I can't characterize that discussion and where we stand on it. We like Derek Lowe and we like a variety of pitchers out there. He's not the only guy we like."
Amaro also declined to comment on the reported asking price.
"What I can tell you is that it's a whole lot of money," he said.
Philadelphia is in the market for a pitcher because veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer is a free agent and is no closer to returning to the Phillies than he was when the Meetings started. Amaro said on Tuesday there had been no new discussions with Moyer about returning.
Amaro did indicate that there may be enough money in the budget to meet a Lowe-type demand, but signing the former member of the Dodgers and Red Sox might preclude him from making other moves.
"It would [create payroll ramifications]," Amaro said. "But it would depend on the structure of the deal."
As far as the Phils acting as a third-party facilitator to move right-hander Jake Peavy from the Padres to the Cubs, nothing new happened on that front Tuesday.
Reports had Philadelphia interested in Cubs outfielder/second baseman Mark DeRosa and the Padres excited about a group of Phillies prospects. The Cubs would inherit the remaining four guaranteed years at $63 million left on Peavy's contract, but to do so, they also want to deal right-hander Jason Marquis, who's owned $9.9 million in 2009.
Amaro declined to specifically comment on the status of that deal.
"What I can tell you is that we've talked to a variety of clubs and there have been several different scenarios," he said. "We're trying to prioritize what we like the best and, at the same time, if something were to happen, we would move on it."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.