LAS VEGAS – The lone holdup in a deal sending San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago Cubs is the team's ability to trade starting pitcher Jason Marquis, a source close to the situation said Tuesday night.
The Cubs are trying to offload Marquis and his $9.875 million salary to make room for Peavy's four-year, $63 million contract, plus a $22 million option in 2013 that would likely need to be exercised for him to drop his no-trade clause.
The potential trade, a complicated affair involving a third and perhaps fourth team, would send a handful of prospects back to the rebuilding Padres and ship Cubs utilityman Mark DeRosa to the Phillies. Baltimore has also been involved in the discussions. Whether Marquis would go to Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Diego or, perhaps, another team was unclear.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers met with Cubs GM Jim Hendry on Tuesday afternoon, and Towers said he expected to touch base with Hendry as the evening waned to gauge whether the deal would take place.
Towers said earlier this week that the Cubs were the only destination for Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young winner, and that he'd be the opening day starter for the Padres were the framework of a deal not in place by the end of the winter meetings.
"We've made progress," Towers said. "We've still got work. Nothing's imminent."