Towers still optimistic about Peavy deal

LAS VEGAS – Although the Chicago Cubs are having second thoughts about the complicated four-team deal that would send San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy to the Chicago Cubs, Padres general manager Kevin Towers remains optimistic Tuesday.

“Although this deal could be very complicated, I wouldn’t say that it’s lost steam in the last 24 hours,” Towers said in an email to Yahoo! Sports.

However, a Cubs source directly involved in the trade talks said a deal is not close, that the price is “too steep” right now and the Cubs are looking at another “short-term option” to fill out their already formidable starting rotation.

Towers has been relentless in his efforts to deal Peavy, and Monday he made clear that the Cubs were the only serious suitor left for the right-hander, who asked to be traded shortly after the season to one of a short list of National League teams. Towers has worked hard to comply, but first the Braves and now the Cubs can’t seem to work out the puzzle.

The Phillies and Orioles are the other teams in the four-way proposal. It is unclear precisely who the players are that would be sent packing, but the deal would begin with the Cubs sending outfielder Felix Pie and infielder Mark De Rosa to the Phillies. Pie would go to the Orioles, who would send Garrett Olson, Sean Marshall and J.A. Happ to the Padres.

Surplus Cubs starter Jason Marquis and his hefty $9.875 million salary would have to go somewhere to make the deal happen, and maybe that’s where the snag has come.

An alternative for the Cubs to add a fifth starter to a rotation that already boasts Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden and Ryan Dempster would be aging flamethrower Randy Johnson, who is seeking a one-year deal with a contender.

Don't miss a minute of the action with Full Count!
Batter up! Sign up for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball or follow Yahoo! Sports' MLB coverage on Twitter.
Updated Tuesday, Dec 9, 2008