Our MLB editor files dispatches from this year's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas in Notes From Sin City.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers and Cubs general manager Jim Hendry stood, oh, about 10 feet apart after Greg Maddux officially retired from baseball this morning and held court with the press assembled here in the Bellagio.
Towers and Hendry have, of course, been locked in trade negotiations about San Diego ace Jake Peavy almost since the first day of the offseason.
Towers made it clear that the Padres are only talking to one ballclub right now -- Chicago -- and he seemed to indicate that he would like to get something done in the next week or two so the team can either move forward with Peavy or move on without him.
Peavy's reticence to a move to the American League continues to be a major stumbling block for the Padres, who have been forced to deal with the Cubs solely, a team that doesn't seem to be a perfect fit talent-wise.
"We're focusing mainly on pitching," said Towers. "We need to get better in San Diego, so any deal we do would probably involve two or three major league-ready players."
"The Cubs have some attractive players," he added. "We'll continue to explore potential deals with third and fourth teams too."
The Cubs, for their part, are sitting in a great position. If San Diego continues to slash payroll, it will have to move Peavy eventually, and Chicago is the only lady at the dance, so to speak. Though the Tribune Co., which owns the Cubs, filed for bankruptcy Monday, Hendry said it would not affect his club's payroll this winter, nor would the sale of the team, which is expected to go through this spring.
In fact, Hendry said the Cubs could wind up adding significant money to their payroll this winter, though they'll also look to shed an expensive contract or two.
That leaves the door wide open for Chicago to make a serious run at Peavy, and though Hendry wouldn't mention the pitcher by name for fear of tampering, he did admit this: "I'm sure [Kevin and I] won't get to Thursday without having a talk."
Notes From Sin City: Kevin Towers Says Jake Peavy Talks Are 'Ongoing' originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 17:20:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.