The Orioles may end up as a third team in a three-way deal that would send Padres right-hander Jake Peavy to the Cubs, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.
The paper reported that the Orioles have started up trade talks again with the Cubs about outfielder Felix Pie, who -- with Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts -- was part of a rumored deal discussed between the two teams last offseason.
Sources told the Sun that Chicago would like a young pitcher in return for Pie, which could lead to the Orioles sending starter Garrett Olson to the Cubs, who would then trade the lefty to the Padres as part of a deal to land Peavy.
"We have a lot of different irons in the fire," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told the paper. "We're in the process of determining who our trading partners might be and which free agents we might have a chance to sign. We're basically in the same position as everybody else, waiting for a couple of big dominoes to fall."
The Padres have been shopping Peavy, who is due to make $11 million next year, but the uncertainty of whether his club can or will move Peavy has left San Diego general manager Kevin Towers in standby mode. Peavy is owed $63 million through 2012, and the team holds an option for 2013.
The Cubs are one of five National League teams that Peavy, who has a limited no-trade clause, has said he would be amenable to joining.
The Cubs' level of interest, though, is an open question, as Chicago manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Sun-Times last week that after his team re-signed Ryan Dempster to a $52 million deal, it would not be pursuing Peavy.
"No," Piniella told the paper. "Starting [pitching is something] we don't need. We're set. We've got six good starters [including Sean Marshall], and they're all experienced. Getting Dempster back was the key. We're in good shape with our starting pitching. Bullpen-wise, [we're looking for] possibly one more experienced pitcher. We've got a lot of young kids out there."
The Cubs have not been able to complete a deal with the Padres reportedly because they don't have the young, Major League-ready talent the Padres are seeking. But that could change if Chicago can acquire Olson.
Olson, 25, is 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA in 33 Major League starts. A California native, he was the 48th overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. The Padres are said to have made overtures about Olson in the past.
Though Peavy was 10-11 with a 2.85 ERA last season, he is 86-62 in his career and won the National League Cy Young Award in 2007.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.