[Piniella and Hendry, pictured, confirm today they will exchange e-mail addresses by Opening Day.]

Despite Lou Piniella’s comments to the contrary in the Sun-Times last week, reports from Baltimore and Chicago show the Cubs very much in the hunt to bring Jake Peavy over from San Diego. The Baltimore Sun, a Trib-owned paper, reports via former Trib exec and current O’s GM Andy MacPhail, that a three-way deal between the O’s, Cubs, and Padres remains a possibility if it involves sending someone like Felix Pie to Baltimore.

This makes the second time in two weeks Piniella has been publicly undercut “ first by Ryan Dempster’s claim that the Cubs were not prepared for the 2008 post-season, and now this. The Sun‘s Zerebic and Schmuck report it here (and note my restraint joke-wise in not mentioning Schmuck’s name until now).  A scooped Carrie Muskat of MLB’s Cubs’ site still gives the best information on the total picture of what’s going on and what it would take to get Peavy to Chicago, although she gives no date as to when Jim Hendry plans to tell Lou Piniella about it.

Muskat argues that some tricky, expensive, high-end baseball calculus will be needed to make this happen.  Then she puts it in the no-brainer column, writing “The Cubs would have to deal someone — Marquis, for example — to have room on the payroll for Peavy.”

CHICAGO — The Cubs could still acquire Jake Peavy, but it will take some clever maneuvering by general manager Jim Hendry.

Sources on Monday echoed manager Lou Piniella’s statements last week that it’s unlikely the Cubs can add Peavy because of his hefty contract and because the team has other issues to address, such as finding a left-handed hitter.

Other sources, however, said on Monday that the team hasn’t ended talks regarding the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner and that the only way to pull off a deal will be to subtract one of the Cubs’ other high-priced players.

Peavy, who is owed $63 million through 2013, has made it clear the Cubs are one of the teams for which he would waive his no-trade clause. But the Cubs have about $55 million committed in ’09 to Ryan Dempster ($8 million), Carlos Zambrano ($17.75 million), Ted Lilly ($12 million), Jason Marquis ($9.875 million) and Rich Harden ($7 million) — that’s more than $54 million for their projected rotation. The figure doesn’t include other prorated contracts to players such as Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome.

The Cubs would have to deal someone — Marquis, for example — to have room on the payroll for Peavy. Plus, because the Cubs apparently don’t have the young talent the Padres want, another team would have to get involved. Sources said a three-way deal isn’t close to being finalized.

There are reports that the Padres are interested in Orioles right-hander Garrett Olson, who was 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA in 33 Major League starts. Baltimore executive Andy MacPhail knows the Cubs’ farm system well, having served as team president from 1994-2006. Reports say the O’s are watching outfielder Felix Pie, who was hitting .326 in 14 games for Licey in the Dominican Republic.

Hendry and the Cubs have been involved in multi-team deals before, such as the July 31, 2004, four-team swap that brought them Nomar Garciaparra from Boston. Hendry wasn’t available Monday and will not comment on trades or possible free-agent signings. All the discussion is a precursor to next week’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.