In a move that will probably shock most of baseball, the San Diego Padres and Jake Peavy are reportedly close on an extension that would keep the NL Cy Young Award winner with the organization through at least 2012. Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod, stated the two parties are continuing negotiations but that at this rate the deal could be done at some point this week. “I would say we’re making progress. It’s pretty encouraging,” Axelrod said.
FoxSports.com indicated that the Padres and Axelrod were close on a three-year extension that would be worth between $17 million and $17.5 million per year with an option for a fourth year. Peavy’s current contract runs through 2009, and he stands to make $6.5 million in 2008 and $11 million in 2009. With 19 wins, a 2.54 ERA and 240 strikeouts, Peavy was a unanimous selection for the 2007 NL Cy Young award. He’s all growns up. I mean I can still remember when he came up in 2001 and he was still Jacob Peavy. Sniff, seems like only yesterday.
Most of Major League Baseball expected the two sides to talk their way apart from each other, pushing Peavy on to the open market in 2009. Peter Gammons even said in his ESPN.com column this week “Don’t even think about signing Mark Teixeira, Braves fans. Don’t even dream about how much Peavy loves San Diego, Padres fans.” Man I love that he’s going to be wrong. All indications since the end of the season have been that CEO Sandy Alderson, GM Kevin Towers and owner John Moores were going to do something very uncharacteristic of the Padres franchise – keep a big name player in town. If they were going to do it with anyone, it certainly would be the homegrown Peavy.
Padres fans have made it known they would expect nothing less than an extension for the staff ace, who has endeared himself to the fans not only for his play on the field but his work in the community and his aggressive mound presence. He’s the type of guy who wants the ball in the big game and gives an all-out effort on every pitch. He’s also a great role model, especially for guys who like to hunt and get drunk. Basically he’s the exact kind of guy you want on your team and in your rotation.
The funny thing is, this deal will look cheap in comparison with the six-year $150 million Johan Santana is going to demand, the seven-year $126 million Barry Zito got from the Giants and the five-year $91.5 million Carlos Zambrano was given by the Cubs. So Peavy, who became just the fourth player in 40 years to win the National League’s triple crown for pitchers, will actually be cheaper than the other guys hitting the market right now. By the way, the other three pitchers to win the NL pitching triple crown over the last 40 years: Randy Johnson in 2002, Dwight Gooden in 1985 and Steve Carlton 1972.