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Tidbits on Big Unit, Peavy

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  November 12, 2008 05:41 PM

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A couple of quick updates on a pair of notable pitchers . . .

  • Looks like a big meeting in Arizona tonight between the Diamondbacks and Randy Johnson could go far in determining whether the Big Unit, a free agent, remains in Arizona, as is his preference, or has to seek employment elsewhere.

    Until now the Diamondbacks, who are watching the bottom line, have been hinting they may elect to pass on Johnson, but the pressure to keep him around so he can earn his 300th career win as a Diamondback might push them to bring him back.

    Johnson, 45, is three wins shy of 300 and is also aiming for 5,000 strikeouts, but has told people he wants to win one more World Series. Johnson has 4,789 strikeouts, so he'd likely have to pitch two years to reach that milestone.

    Johnson went 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 2008, making 30 starts and pitching 184 innings. He has been plagued by back problems but seems to be healthy again.

  • If the Cubs are hot after San Diego's Jake Peavy, Lou Piniella doesn't know it.

    "First of all, I think it's only talk," said Piniella earlier today while accepting the NL manager of the year award. "I haven't talked to (GM) Jim Hendry too much about our situation. We had a nice conversation two weeks ago at the organizational meetings. There were no specifics. At the time we hadn't talked about Peavy. I've really learned about Peavy on ESPN. Obviously, a very good pitcher, a top of the rotation pitcher. As far as myself I haven't had substantiative talks with Jim about it."

    It's clear Piniella doesn't feel the Cubs need more pitching, but rather they need hitting. He said again that he felt he needed a lefthanded hitter and more athleticism in the lineup, pointing out that the Dodgers did not use one lefthanded pitcher against them this year and in the playoffs.

    The Atlanta Braves still appear to be the leader for Peavy.

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