Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs were almost willing to throw the kitchen sink at Kevin Towers and the San Diego Padres in exchange for starting pitcher Jake Peavy.
But when the name Roy Halladay gets dropped you hear about the usual suspects (Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies) and those lying in the weeds (Brewers, Cardinals) but you don't hear about the Cubs. Once upon a time, the Cubs had enough pieces to offer for Peavy ... why can't those same pieces be used for Halladay?
In fact, making a play for Halladay makes more sense than trying to land Peavy ever did. The Cubs would be getting a better pitcher, who would not only be leaving the American League, but would also be leaving the heavy-hitting AL East. Also, they wouldn't be trading their prized prospects to a National League team, which could eventually burn them in a pennant race.
And if the remaining cost of Peavy's contract was an issue, it would be easy to take note that Halladay's contract expires at the end of next season. "Doc" will make $15.75 million next year, but is done after that. Peavy makes $15 million next year and up to $55 million if he plays out his entire deal.
And if money is an issue, take note that the Cubs have $13.92 million worth of pitchers contracts coming off the books when Kevin Gregg, Aaron Heilman, Neal Cotts and Rich Harden hit the free agency market. Also take note that Halladay averages 231 innings pitched and has 20 complete games since the start of the 2007 campaign.
Makes me wonder who needs a bullpen beyond Carlos Marmol and Angel Guzman if Halladay, Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly can eat up at least 200 innings apiece.
My hope is that Hendry & The Powers That Be learned a very valuable lesson from this winter's transgressions. The Cubs were so tightly linked to the Peavy Sweepstakes, it was meant to either be a boom or bust scenario. And it busted when the Cubs played chicken with Towers, who took his ball and went home when he finally realized he was getting knocked around by the Braves and Cubs.
Everyone pegged Towers and the Padres as the group with its collective backs agaisnt the wall because they had put their butts in the line of fire. But Hendry did the same thing as he lost negotiating power as he helped make the hunt to get Peavy a public affair.
Either the Cubs are playing possum or they truly have no interest in upgrading a starting rotation that currently boasts the likes of an injured Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells, who has been hit hard in his last two starts ... including his most recent start against the frickin' Washington Nationals.
Upon further review, both line's of thought run along the same line of Tribune Co. thinking. Looks like the Cubs are stuck with B.J. Ryan