For the third time in less than a year Buster Olney has taken to his ESPN flavored Word Pad and penned a long story about how Jake Peavy will be traded by the San Diego Padres. Last year he claimed the Padres were discussing a deal that would send Peavy to the New York Yankees for Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera. Shockingly, that deal never materialized. Then a few weeks ago he stated that the Padres were going to listen to deals for the 2007 N.L. Cy Young Award winner. Now he tells us the Padres are aggressively looking to move their coveted right hander.
Olney reasons that Peavy has a contract through 2013 that will pay him as much as $70 million ($8 million in 2009, $15 mil in 2010, $16 mil in 2011, $17 mil in 2012 and a 2013 option for $22 mil), and that is far too much for the Padres to pay. He claims – despite the fact that Peavy wants to remain in the National League and has a full no-trade clause – that any team could have him for the right price. Um, wrong. He also states that the Dodgers are a likely trade partner, and could dangle Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and maybe James McDonald. The Braves on the other hand could send a middle infielder like Yunel Esobar or Brent Lillibridge to make a deal.
Here’s my question for you Buster: Are you fucking insane?
When healthy and on an (at least) average team, Jake Peavy is one of the top four pitchers in baseball. I’d put him in the top tier with Johan Santana, Roy Halladay and Brandon Webb (the next tier would be Carlos Zambrano, C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and so on). Throw in the fact that Peavy comes relatively cheap for a bonafide ace and he could be one of the most valuable commodities in baseball.
So let me get this straight; the Padres have one of the cheapest star pitchers in baseball and because they’re a low-income club, they need to get rid of him. Does that seem like ridiculous reasoning to anyone else? Peavy loves San Diego and San Diego loves Peavy. He’s a homegrown prospect and this team belongs to Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez and Trevor Hoffman. Sure Kevin Towers will listen to what everyone offers, he wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t, but the only way Peavy is moving is for a gigantic deal. If Towers and Sandy Alderson trade Jake Peavy they should expect Florida Marlins-like crowds at PetCo Park for the next three years.
You could make the argument pretty easily that Peavy is actually more valuable right now than Johan Santana was last offseason because whoever went after Santana knew they had to sign him to a huge deal. Peavy is already signed through 2013 to an affordable deal.
So a note to all teams out there, here’s what it will take for you to get Jake Peavy from the Padres: your two top position player prospects and your best pitching prospect, and that’s at a minimum. You only qualify if all three of those players will be Major League-ready by Spring Training. Oh and all three must be on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list.
You good with the cost? That’s what I thought.
The verdict? Jake Peavy is not going anywhere unless the Padres get more than equal value for him. That won’t happen, therefore, Peavy will be the Opening Day starter for the Padres next season.