ESPN’s Buster Olney – you know, the guy we’ve called a moron several times – is now reporting that the San Diego Padres are prepared to keep 2007 Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy if they can’t get equal value in return for the right-hander.
Um, duh. Kinda funny how we told you that same thing more than a month ago.
Olney is obsessed with the fact that the Padres are attempting to cut payroll and says they may be forced to make “a below-value deal” to get rid of Peavy. OK, I know the Padres are trying to cut payroll but they’re not going to take 50 cents on the dollar for one of the top hurlers in the game. They may be frugal but they’re not stupid. The public relations hit they’d take from giving up Peavy without getting serious value in return would be enormous.
The thing is, Kevin Towers sees a market where the top pitchers are less-proven than Peavy and will command almost twice his salary. Therefore, Peavy should be an incredibly valuable commodity. So he went into the offseason looking to see what was out there in return for his ace. But these days, teams are tightly clinging to their top young prospects, therefore he hasn’t had an overwhelming deal available like he thought he might. The Padres think if they send Peavy – a great piece – they might be able to get about three good pieces in return, thereby improving the team as a whole. A deal like that hasn’t surfaced.
Olney does go on to say that, according to sources, the Cubs are now the front-runners for Peavy. And now the Atlanta Braves are refusing to trade their top pitching prospect, Tommy Hanson, to get Peavy. A deal still could be built around shortstop Yunel Escobar, center fielder Jordan Schafer, pitcher Charlie Morton and one more pitching prospect (possibly 20-year-old lefty Jeff Locke). But the Padres really want Hanson and will likely not make a move unless he’s involved.
The New York Daily News also has a hilarious item stating that the Yankees’ chances of getting Peavy are improving because the Padres have had trouble finding a buyer. The paper says the Yankees could send Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson and maybe Ian Kennedy to the Padres. Um, yeah, whoever told the Daily News that is insane. Why would the Padres take two pitchers who have proven they aren’t great at the major league level? Plus, Hughes is coming off a horrible season during which he was injured constantly. Plus he has big time issues with his mechanics. No way that deal gets done, especially because the Padres have no interest in the Yankees’ other possible chip, Robinson Cano.
Basically it sounds like the Padres are realizing the big deal they were looking at isn’t out there. And they’re completely content to keep one of the top pitchers in the game at the top of their rotation.
UPDATE: Man, the hacks at ESPN just can’t figure out what they think about the Peavy situation. Just a few hours after saying the Padres were prepared to keep him, they’re now saying “the Peavy train has left the station.”