SAN DIEGO -- Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Wednesday night that the Chicago Cubs are "still a player" in the Jake Peavy sweepstakes, even after Chicago signed free-agent pitcher Ryan Dempster to a $52 million contract.
Towers said that he had talked to Cubs GM Jim Hendry earlier in the day and that "they still have interest."
"They're still a player," Towers said. "... They might have to be creative with their finances to make it work."
Earlier in the day, Cubs sources had indicated to MLB.com that the talks had ended because the club can't afford both Peavy and Dempster.
On Tuesday, the Cubs gave Dempster a four-year contract to stay in Chicago. The 17-game winner returns to a rotation that already has Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly.
Towers is still looking to wrangle a third team or possibly a fourth team into a potential deal for Peavy, who will make $11 million in 2009 and is owed $63 million over the remainder of his contract.
"They have got a few attractive pieces, but it would probably involve a third or a fourth club," Towers said Monday.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.