The week began with a jubilant cry from the west coast.
It was reported on Wednesday that the Chicago White Sox had reached a preliminary deal with the San Diego Padres for Jake Peavy. Chicago, in return, would give San Diego four prospects, headlined by Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda.
My buddy, Clayton in Colorado called me Thursday afternoon, sounding as if his Rockies had just won the World Series.
According to him, it hasn't been easy being a Colorado sports fan over the past decade. Besides reaching the World Series in 2007, and the excitement of the 2005 Denver Broncos (13-3, lost to Pittsburgh in AFC Championship Game) Colorado sports have been a drag. It has been a decade since John Elway's Superbowl wins.
He also pointed out (numerous times) of the lopsidedness of NL West pitching. Eight of the last ten NL Cy Young award winners have come from the NL West, and none of them have been given to a Colorado pitcher.
He told me it would be nice to get one of the aces (Tim Lincecum: 2008 NL Cy Young, Brandon Webb: 2006 NL Cy Young, Jake Peavy: 2007 NL Cy Young) out of the division.
It shouldn't have been Peavy he was worried about getting rid of however. Peavy is 4-6 with an 3.81 ERA against the Colorado Rockies during his career, which includes an 8-9 loss in the 2007 NL West one-game-playoff.
Compare that to a 13-2 record and 2.27 ERA vs the LA Dodgers, or 12-9 record and 3.51 ERA vs SF Giants. Peavy is also 11-12 with a 4.71 ERA vs the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It seemed as though Jake Peavy was going to come from Clayton's division to mine. I just didn't believe it.
It is well known that the Chicago White Sox are a dying club. With a roster full of aging stars and rehab assignments, the ChiSox aren't what you would call a "grade A contender."
Sox GM Ken Williams said that his club "knows they still have championship aspirations for this season, and will continue to improve their current club by pursuing all of our various opportunities," but he must know the Sox have a lot of work ahead of them.
Williams isn't on the right path if he plans to sell post-season tickets again in 2009. The Sox's rotation has a 5.21 ERA, and went nearly 2 1/2 weeks without consecutive wins. Although he has experience in his rotation (Mark Buehrle: 122-88, Bartolo Colon: 2005 AL Cy Young winner, and Jose Contrares: 50 wins in six years in Chicago), Peavy would have been an excellent addition to a rotation that also includes John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Clayton Richard.
The White Sox are currently in fourth place in the AL Central at 17-23, 6.5 games behind division-leading Detroit (23-16). With five starters age 33 or older (Paul Konerko, AJ Pierzinski, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, and Scott Podsednik), Peavy didn't think it was the right fit for him.
In my opinion, this was a great call.
Everybody remembers the C.C. Sabathia deal of last year. The Milwaukee Brewers, desperate for pitching, acquired the reigning AL Cy Young winner from the Cleveland Indians, who was 6-8 with a 3.88 ERA. C.C. finished his four-month Brewer career 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, was in the top six in MVP and Cy Young Voting, led the Brewers to the postseason, and got a monster contract from the New York Yankees.
The same situation arose with Manny Ramirez. Manny was hitting .299 with 20 home runs for a Boston Red Sox team that was fed up with his antics, and dealt him to the LA Dodgers. Manny finished the season hitting .396 with 17 home runs, led the Dodgers to the postseason, finished fourth in NL MVP voting, and got a two-year $50M deal from the Dodgers.
What benefits Peavy the most is his no-trade clause. The reason Peavy isn't wearing black and white today is the fact that he can't be traded anywhere he doesn't want to go. Unlike Ramirez or Sabathia who were free agents after the 2008 season, Peavy still has three years left on his contract, and whoever acquires him will have to pay him the remainder of his contract which includes $11 million for 2009, $15 million in 2010, $16 million for 2011, and $17 million in 2012, plus a $22 million club option/$4 million buyout.
Peavy says he wants to stay in San Diego...for now. I guess he'd rather lose while in palm trees and sunshine rather than lose while in rain and wind.
I predict Peavy will be dealt by the trade deadline. Pennant-hungry teams that have a legit shot of making the post-season will come knocking. The Mets (cough cough...help! I'm choking...again!), the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, the Atlanta Braves, or the Detroit Tigers (also the Red Sox and Yankees. You just can't have a trade rumor for an overpaid athlete without throwing their name in there) would all be teams I could see Peavy agreeing to go to.