Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Will Heilman deal end Peavy talks?

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After right-hander Aaron Heilman was acquired from the Seattle Mariners for infielder Ronny Cedeno and left-hander Garrett Olson on Wednesday, talk suddenly turned to Jake Peavy.

The San Diego Padres were known to have strong interest in Olson before the Cubs acquired him on Jan. 18 in the Felix Pie deal and there was a feeling that landing Olson was a step toward getting Peavy.

''We've had no talks about Jake Peavy since they were well documented during the winter meetings,'' said Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush, who was speaking for the team as general manager Jim Hendry returns from a trip to Italy. ''I don't anticipate anything happening with that.''

Sources say the Cubs won't even entertain the idea of renewing talks on Peavy until their ownership situation is settled -- and that's not expected to happen until late March at the earliest.

The Padres were known to have interest in Olson, but a Peavy deal would still be built around the Cubs sending third base prospect Josh Vitters and a batch of young pitching talent to San Diego.

Though left-hander Sean Marshall appears to have the inside track for the fifth spot in manager Lou Piniella's rotation, Heilman and right-handed reliever Chad Gaudin will enter camp battling for the job. Heilman, 30, hasn't been a starter since making seven starts -- out of 53 appearances -- for the Mets in 2005. He has made 25 starts in his career, going 5-13 with a 5.93 ERA. In 280 relief outings, he's 17-20 with a 3.52 ERA.

Heilman, a Notre Dame graduate who makes his offseason home in Chicago, struggled as a late-inning reliever for the Mets last season, going 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA. Still, this isn't the first time Hendry made a run at Heilman.

''He's somebody we've had on our radar for a while,'' Bush said. ''We really like his versatility.''

The Cubs' offseason makeover will continue this week, with the club nearing agreement on a one-year, $750,000 contract with backup catcher Paul Bako. Left-hander Rich Hill -- who like Cedeno and Pie is out of options -- is also expected to be traded before camp opens on Feb. 14.

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I think the Cubs are still the Cubs. Until new ownership replaces the management team (Pinella not included)they'll never be able to pick-up REAL talent because they don't know it when they see it.Domer Flopper with many chances at the METS what will change in CHI?

I know people will cry about his attitude and that he's a "cancer" but if the Cubs were/are serious about winning a title, and not just "contending", we'd be talking about signing Manny Ramirez. It's tough with the ownership situation, obviously, but is there something that could have been done? We have two very talented, respected stars who are Dominican (although he grew up in NYC, Manny has a history of responding positively next to other Dominican superstars, i.e. Pedro Martinez) in Aramis Ramirez and Alphonso Soriano. If Manny is available and our new owner is a Cubs fan, come late March, we should pick up Manny, the guy is one of the best hitters of all-time and he's clutch ...

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on January 28, 2009 6:29 PM.

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