Padres Writers Roundtable Vol 1.5: Jake Peavy Trade Edition

M.T. RobinsonCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10:  National League All-Star starting pitcher Jake Peavy #44 of the San Diego Padres delivers during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres Writers Roundtable Vol. 1.5: Jake Peavy Trade Edition 8-1-2009

Circumstances required the immediate attention of the Padres Roundtable Writers, as the Pads pulled one out of their sleeve, and traded former Cy Young award winner Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox yesterday.

Joining the Table once again are B/R Padres Featured Columnist Todd Kaufmann, B/R Cleveland Indians Featured Columnist Samantha Bunten, B/R Padres Analyst Eric Gomez, and Myself.

Up ahead, The Trade Twilight Zone..

1. Are you happy, or angry that the Padres traded Jake Peavy?

Eric—My gut reaction every time the Padres trade a fantastic player for unproven guys is that of anger. I think that's natural. I was angry when I saw Fred McGriff in a Braves uniform for the first time, Gary Sheffield in a Marlins uniform, et al. However, I'm excited to see what we got for him.

Four for one is usually not a bad deal for the team getting four, you figure at least one of those guys has to stick. You have to think Clayton Richard's ERA will improve in the NL, pitching half his games in Petco Park; and if Aaron Poreda is as lights-out as they say, then the deal won't be bad in hindsight.

That is to say, if Peavy doesn't end up winning the next three AL Cy Youngs or so...

Samantha—Ah, the art of misdirection. I was so caught up in whether the Padres would trade Gonzalez that I never saw the Peavy trade coming. It would be hard to be happy about it, because it's never pleasant to see one of the team's best players be traded away, even if deep down we all knew Peavy would be moved eventually.

It does make me a little angry because I don't think the Padres got value back for him (more on that in the following question's response), not to mention that now Peavy plays for one of my Indians' division rivals. Sigh.

Todd—I don't think many of us Padre fans are happy that the team dealt someone who was supposed to be the face of the franchise, especially after Trevor Hoffman left in free agency prior to the 2009 season.

But when you remove the emotion that comes with being a fan, you have to realize that the Padres now have $58 million to really be able to do some things with. You can use that money to sign Adrian Gonzalez long term, as well as sign the remaining draft picks, which include Donavan Tate.

MT—We are all sitting there, watching the deals go down, and the deadline passed. OK. Jake, Adrian, and Heath are still here. Whew...

I get up, walk away from the the big screen, feeling secure in the knowledge that the Padres best players are still Padres, and go about my business. I come back into the room, and I hear Peavy has been dealt to the White Sox again. (expletive deleted)

I would say the next minute of my life contained a huge amount of expertly delivered sarcastic profanity. They did it again. AGAIN. Mcgriff, Kruk, Fernandez, Wiggins, Alomar twice, and many many more.

Who gets to stay? Who??? I have been here a lot longer than anyone who currently works for the Padres, except Jerry Coleman. I should not be surprised. The Padres will never be the Cardinals. Ever. And that is sad.

I would not feel so bad if it wasn't for the way the Friars went about doing it. Apparently, the fans no longer deserve any answers. The Padres are going to do as they please, without asking a soul, and we are gonna sit here, pay for it, and like it.

This is how the Chargers have operated for years, and when the Bolts were losing, it didn't go over any better PR wise.

I guess its unreasonable for me to expect the front office types to have a sit down on Channel 4 to discuss the realities of their financial situation. Its not hard to figure out, all the buildings that they constructed around the ballpark in anticipation of reaping huge lease revenues from, are mostly empty.

But, the Friar brass is acting like its a state secret, worthy of 007. WE GET IT. YOU ARE BROKE.

Just come clean, and admit it. 

Peavy said in his post-trade press conference that they had been aft him for two weeks to get out of town. Nice.

You stay Classy, San Diego. (Thanks, Ron Burgundy)

2. Did the Padres get value for a former Cy Young winner?

Eric—I did see a few of Aaron Poreda's highlights on some websites, and I gotta say, he looks pretty good: 6'6", great fastball, fantastic presence on the mound. He'll play a role for San Diego immediately. He'll probably set up Heath Bell from here on out.

Richard looks like a solid starting pitcher, but I can't say we got an ace for another ace. He'll probably be a middle of the rotation guy.

The other two guys are question marks at this point, having not faced enough competition for a sufficient amount of time to make a quick judgment.

Samantha—This was far from the worst deal made at this season's trade deadline, but I do think the Padres sold themselves a little short on the deal. Richard has the makings of a premier pitcher, but so far has been unable to make his projected abilities a reality.

If Richard hits his upside within the next few years, then the deal will be a win for San Diego. If he doesn't, the supplementary players the White Sox sent to the Padres (Aaron Porda, Dexter Carter, and Adam Russell) may not be enough to allow San Diego to break even on the deal.

Todd—The Padres got four young arms, which we all know is something that the Padres were really hurting for, so in that sense yes they got what this team needs.

We won't know who gets the better end of the deal until Clayton Richard takes the mound on Saturday night and we get to see the other three prospects they received in return.

On the flip side, we'll have to see when Jake gets to come back and pitch again to see if he's back to his old self.

MT—Are you kidding me? Unless the Padres got Roy Halliday in return, this deal tilts to the White Sox. I have seen this many times: a top Padre player dealt for a bunch of guys we never heard of. Sometimes, it works out.

I had never heard of Trevor Hoffman either, when the Padres dealt Gary Sheffield. Sometimes, it's for guys like John Urrea, or Kim Seaman (Padres Get Fleeced In Trade History)

3. Will the Padres be able to keep any of their current rookies in the long run?

Eric—You mean from this trade? I should hope so, especially if they turn out to be, well, you know, good. I'm really interested to see what Jeff Moorad will be like as an owner. It's not very clear as of now.

Samantha—They will if they start winning. Players want to be part of a team with a competitive chance, and even teams with relatively small budgets can keep high quality young players around if they create an environment that is a desirable place for a ballplayer to be.

The Padres should think about signing their promising young players to long-term, modest-salary contracts very early in their respective careers. These types of contracts, very popular in recent years for teams like Cleveland, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota, are a great deal for both the player and the team and allow smaller market teams to field a competitive roster without breaking the bank.

Todd—There's no way to tell, right now, whether or not the Padres are committed to keeping their young prospects. I will give new owner Jeff Moorad the benefit of the doubt because this is his first off season coming up, so I'll reserve judgement until I see what he starts doing with this franchise.

Don't forget, this is a guy that was part of the ownership that built a World Series Championship team in Arizona, so if it can be done there, it can be done in San Diego

MT—Nope.  Kyle Blanks will have to say goodbye, as soon as the Padres have to pay him a rate that will reflect his powerful bat. Unless things change radically around here, the same fate awaits any player who excels as a Padre.

One lesson the Chargers finally, painfully learned, is keep your talent.

If the Padres are smart, they will lock up Blanks, Gwynn, Bell and Gonzalez for the next five years. Don't bet on it.  And I consider myself an optimist, but trust is earned, and the Padres have a ways to go to earn mine again.

4. Can Peavy help the White Sox win the World Series?

EricJake Peavy can help any team win the World Series. Here's a guy who can potentially win 20 games, strike out 200 guys and post an ERA of under 3.00 every single season. A true definition of an ace. Stadium considerations aside (U.S. Cellular Field is no Petco Park), Peavy will definitely bolster their staff.

Samantha—The White Sox do not have the talent to win the World Series, with or without Jake Peavy. Their bullpen has holes that tend to crop up every year toward the end of the season and in the playoffs, and their lineup is still too dependent on the long ball.

However, Peavy may be enough of a boost to allow them to overtake the Tigers and fend off the Twins in the AL Central, and at least earn themselves a trip to the post season—even if they can't make it all the way to the big dance.

It will be interesting to see how Peavy, a career-long National League pitcher, makes the adjustment to facing American League hitters.

I don't think anyone should worry too much though—while Peavy may struggle slightly as he gets acclimated to a new league, I'm pretty sure he can handle the transition and will be a major contributor for Chicago for the remainder of the season.

Todd—Absolutely he can help them win a World Championship, there's no doubt in my mind about that. Jake is the kind of pitcher that can lead a team like Chicago and be that "missing piece" to get them back.

MT—You bet, If Jake is healthy, he is basically unhittable. With his aggressive attitude, pitching in the playoffs again will be food for a starving man. Peavy lives to win, that is what makes him such a great player. Everyone loses, but that does not mean you have to like it.

Too many players now, on all teams, in all of the major league sports, just dont care. They have a long legged Betty or three waiting for them after the game, and will drive home to them, in cars the rest of us can only dream of.  I don't begrudge any of that, but it's just that the Padres and Chargers are all we San Diego fans have sports wise.

I take pride in being a Padre and Charger fan, and I want the players to feel the same way. That means LOSING SUCKS, so get pissed. Do something about it. When we lose, every East Coast sports wag trots out the old "California boys can't play in the big leagues" song and dance again.

I LIVE to shut those guys up. So did Peavy.

As an example of this thinking, allow me to digress. Take the CBS NFL Playoff Pregame show 2007 season. Dan Marino—Dolphins, Bill Cowher—Steelers,  Boomer Esiason—Bengals  and Shannon Sharp—Broncos, all picked the Chargers to lose at Indy.

All are Charger haters from their time in the NFL.

When the Chargers pulled off the major upset in their eyes with Billy Volek, all of them were basically speechless, and talked about what Indy did wrong, instead of what the Bolts did right. PRICELESS.

The same goes for the way the Padres were viewed by the nation during the 1998 World Series, against the Yankees. NO RESPECT. If the Padres had actually beaten the Yanks, I think the nation would have collapsed.

The only way to correct this biased way of thinking by our fellow Americans, is to do what the Red Sox and the Patriots have done, as in run the table seven times. I would love to put an end to hearing the phrase "Where are your championship rings?"

Losing great players like Jake Peavy makes this task all the harder. 

5. Will you watch the Padres any more this season?

Eric—Of course. Don't all self-loathing, masochistic fans keep going after gutting instances like this? I mean, call me when they trade Gonzalez, Bell, and Poreda to the Dodgers for cash and "a player to be named later".

Samantha—It is difficult to continue to watch a team whose season is over before the month of August. However, all of us who are fans of teams who do not have the finances to compete every single year have to find reasons to keep watching that aren't about winning.

For me, a failed team doesn't make for the best entertainment; but at the end of the day, win or lose, being able to watch baseball at all is reward enough to keep tuning in.

Todd—I'll still continue to watch the Padres because I've been a fan since I've been a kid. I'm not one that jumps on and off the bandwagon just because they make a move that I may not agree with.

I go back to what I said at the beginning, that this move saved a lot of money for this team to do a lot of good things. But they need to use that $58 million wisely or risk this franchise being set back another five to eight years.

MT—Of course, at least until the Chargers take over Sunday afternoon, once you are locked in at the Q, its hard to really keep up. When the Padres are winning, everyone cranks up the AM radio. Constant updates.

The Padres actually made the Chargers fumble during a drive aganst the Kansas City Chiefs in 1996, when Chris Gwynn belted one into the gap up in Los Angeles, during the '96 Division title run. It was a burst of pure pandemonium from the stands, and Stan Humphries bobbled the snap because of the sudden outburst of noise.

When the Padres are out of it, The Pads are an afterthought.  I have decided to keep an eye on Kyle Blanks anyhow, no matter how the Padres are doing. Blanks has a pure power swing. And, watching the Padres is like breathing to me, it's just something I do.

And while we are on the subject of watching the Padres, the Friars originally announced that they would offer Channel 444, in addition to the then new Channel 4, with 24 hour Padre programming, and classic games. At least 10 years later, I am still waiting...

Hopefully, we can now take a little breather from the great purge of 2009. If the Padres pull off a deal for AG or Bell, we will of course go with Roundtable 1.6.

Many thanks to Todd, Eric, Samantha and Shellshocked Padre fans everywhere.

Get on the message boards and VENT, Padre fans.

Stay tuned, its never boring around here. Ridiculous, but never boring...


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