Now that Jake Peavy has vetoed a trade to the Chicago White Sox, speculation will start to build of Peavy's final destination. I want the Brewers to make the playoffs as much as any fan, but not if that means doing whatever it takes to get Jake Peavy.
The Brewers made a once-in-a-lifetime trade last year when they traded for CC Sabathia. They gave up two top-10 prospects for a four-month rental of Sabathia.
Peavy's contract currently runs through 2012 with a club option for 2013. To get what they feel fair value in return, the Brewers would likely have to give up at least three top-10 prospects and likely another mid-level one as well.
Some Brewer fans seem to think that some combination of Bill Hall, Dave Bush or Braden Looper, and a prospect will be enough. These people know nothing about baseball. Bill Hall has zero value for the Padres.
Why would the Padres take on Hall's contract when the whole idea of trading Peavy is to cut payroll? They would not take our "junk" for one of the prized pitchers on the trade market. It isn't a smart baseball move for the Padres. They want prospects and very good ones.
Do the Brewers have enough prospects to entice the Padres? Absolutely. The have both pitching and hitting prospects that are expected to make an impact at the Major League level.
Management can't be as short-sighted as fans however. While Peavy would be a boost to the pitching staff, the cost in prospects would cripple the ability to compete in the future. The Brewers have five picks in the first 75 of this year's draft, but without Jack Zduriencik running things, there is no guarantee to continue past draft success.
Fans also need to keep in mind that there are players currently on the roster that may not be here in a few years. Does anyone honestly think Prince Fielder will remain on the team once he reaches free agency?
Mike Cameron is a free agent after this season as well. JJ Hardy, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Hart all have the chance to leave in the next couple years as well.
That is the majority of this team's offense gone, and the Brewers don't have that much depth in the minors to cover the loss of every one of those players.
Jake Peavy is also a much different pitcher away from Petco Park in San Diego. While he has a winning record both at home and on the road, his ERA is a full run higher on the road. He strikes out over one fewer batters per nine innings, and he has given up 33 more home runs on the road in over 106 fewer innings throughout his career.
Peavy's contract is also a major reason not to make the trade. As I said earlier, his current deal runs through 2012 with an option for 2013. Starting next year, Peavy will earn an average of $16 million a year through the end of that deal. His option for 2013 is for $22 million with a $4 million buyout.
That's an average of $4 million a year more than what Jeff Suppan makes. Peavy is a much better pitcher than Suppan but that is still a lot more than this franchise can afford for a player only playing every fifth day.
Should Peavy come to Milwaukee, the Brewers would already be saddled with a payroll for 2010 of over $60 million, and that is with only half the roster under contract. That would leave roughly $20 million to sign another 12 or 13 players.
The 2009 payroll currently sits at a litter over $81 million and owner Mark Attanasio has said there is a little wiggle room with that but not too much.
Another reason I'm opposed to the Peavy deal is the fact that we already have a staff ace on this team. Yovani Gallardo struggled in his last start against Houston but that can be attributed to rust from not pitching for so long.
Gallardo has proven start after start this year that he is capable of being a top-notch pitcher in baseball. Along with Dave Bush, Braden Looper, and Manny Parra, the Brewers have a very solid rotation that can compete with any team in the National League.
Do I think the Brewers could add another starter? Sure, any team could use more starting pitching. It is the single most important asset in baseball. However, the Brewers aren't as desperate for a staff ace like they were last season.
There will be plenty of very reliable above-average pitchers that will become available over the next two months. I would rather see the Brewers go after that level of a pitcher and save all their top prospects to maintain the ability to be competitive well into the future.
If Jeremy Jeffress can ever learn how to pitch with control, the Brewers' future rotation will consist of Jeffress, Gallardo, and Parra. There will be no need for Peavy's contract with that sort of talent at the top of our rotation.
The Brewers can and will compete for the playoffs with or without Jake Peavy on their team. For the Brewers to have a legitimate shot at competing for the playoffs over the next several years as well there's only one stance to take on trading for Jake Peavy: just say no.
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