Previewing Day Three of the Winter Meetings

If Wednesday is anything like Tuesday was in Vegas, it's going to be a fun time. The Phillies are in the thick of things among both free agency and trade talk. Here's a look at what could happen on Wednesday.

First things first. Charlie Manuel gets an extension through the 2011 season; good job, Phillies. It was richly deserved and Manuel - and his players - now don't have to worry about who's at the helm of this club.

Trade Front
The Cubs, Padres, Orioles and Phillies are all burning up the lobby of the Bellagio. Maybe the best thing to do would be to lock these guys in a room and nobody gets food, water or a bathroom break until Jake Peavy is traded.

Chicago is still in on Peavy, but they must shave some salary to get it done. Jason Marquis and his $9.875 million salary for 2009 are the big piece of that puzzle. If the Cubs find a home for him and don't have to eat too much of his deal, Peavy heads to Chicago. Right now, they haven't had any success and the Cubs chances are slipping away from them, especially since San Diego GM Kevin Towers wants a deal done this week, but admits that could be difficult and a deal might not be announced until after physicals would be done. Plus, he hinted that the Padres would need time to clear some spots off of their 40 man roster - which now stands at 37 going into Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, meaning that the players they would receive would have to be put on the 40 man immediately. By the way, the Cubs are the only team that Peavy has publicly said he would waive his no-trade clause to go to, which makes this even more interesting.

Could Mark DeRosa be a Philly? Yes. He would actually be a good fit for the Phillies, since he could play at second or third to fill in for Chase Utley or Pedro Feliz who will be rehabbing from off-season surgeries at the start of the season. Plus, he could conceivably be an everyday left fielder, since he's played everywhere on the diamond, except pitching and catching, and is decent enough defensively to have him play in left field.

There was word yesterday that the Padres didn't want J.A. Happ or Chris Coste as part of a package for Peavy. Now comes word that the guy they're interested in is Jason Jaramillo, which seems a little odd, since they have a good, young catching prospect in Nick Hundley. It was thought Coste would be included to serve as a veteran backup to Hundley. The Padres also have said that the Phillies have some young pitching - presumably Carlos Carrasco - that intrigues them.

One huge dilemma is that if the Phillies pull off a deal for DeRosa and the Cubs find someone to take even about $4 million of Marquis' contract, then the Cubs would have cleared enough salary to take on Peavy. Do the Phillies want to help the Cubs get one of the best pitchers in the game by taking DeRosa?

Free Agency
For right now, Pat Burrell is off the radar of almost every major league team, including the Phillies. Burrell wanted a three-year deal and the Phillies politely declined to go that route. Jamie Moyer is on the back burner for the Phillies as they pursue "other options". For his part, Moyer is also pursuing a deal with other clubs and has been contacted by as many as seven other clubs about a deal. Moyer is reportedly seeking two years and $18 million, which is about $4 million over what the Phillies had offered.

Derek Lowe is now looking at getting five years and $80 million from someone. The Phillies are wary of going to those numbers, but they haven't told Lowe that it's an impossibility. The Yankees are also very interested in Lowe and like the Phillies, haven't completely backed off from his demand. Will he get it? Not likely, but he could get four years and $64 million from someone.

The Phillies and Mets are the primary suitors for Raul Ibanez. It's not clear how much money the Mets have left to spend after dumping $37 million on Francisco Rodriguez Tuesday for a three-year deal. Privately, Ibanez has told friends that he would like to play in Philadelphia, but the question of how the Phillies could fit three big left-handed bats into their lineup is tough to answer.

Today's Live Blog
We're going to actually run two separate live blogs today. The first will start at around 10:00 a.m. Eastern time and run for a couple of hours. It will be open to all Philly Baseball News readers. The second will start early this afternoon and will be for our premium users only. Feel free to stop by either one or both of the blogs to get the latest information from the festivities in Vegas. You'll be able to access both blogs right from the home page.

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