So today I was thinking about the Cubs, and remembering back to when the season was young and the hopes were high.
The first thing I remembered was Jake Peavy and how bad not just me, but all of Cubs nation wanted him. Knowing what we now know, would that have been a good move?
We all know the dominance of Peavy—in eight years he has amassed 92 wins with a 3.29 ERA and all with very little run support. So why in any universe could there have been a set of circumstances where having Peavy might seem unappealing?
So I'm going to set aside the numbers and awards for now and dive into some more interesting things.
So first off, lets just see what it would take to make a move for Peavy. First off, the Padres wanted the Cubs biggest prospect in a depleted minor league system and that honor would probably go to Josh Vitters.
Vitters, a 22-year-old top prospect and former No. 1 draft pick has been tearing it up in the minors with a .303 average and 15 home runs. He also seems to be the heir-apparent to Aramis Ramirez, who, let's face it, is aging quickly.
Not only Vitters, but any number of Cubs top prospects would have been involved, also requiring a third party team to complete a trade.
Next, lets look at the Cubs great starting pitching efforts so far this year.
They are fourth in the league with runs allowed per game with 4.11, fourth in the league in tough losses (losses in quality starts according to baseball-reference.com), first in quality starts, and in the top-five in league ERA. So with a strong enough rotation, that could be better without many injuries, was Peavy really as needed of a commodity as it seemed at the time?
As of July 21, it is obvious that the biggest hole is offense. So by not making that trade, the Cubs still have some monetary flexibility during the trade season, and during the next offseason.
Finnaly, let's say that Peavy does exactly the same as he has this year.
He's 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA and 28 walks in 13 games. Pretty good but is it worth being locked in at $10 million-plus for five years?
I think Jim Hendry may not of known it at the time, but not getting Peavy may have SAVED the Cubs season, and many after it, before it started. With no offense the Cubs need to make a trade. It's obvious, and with Peavy it would still be obvious, but not only impossible, but crazy.
With Peavy, any more salary added on to the payroll would devastate.