Its little secret how high the demand is right now for a top flight starting pitching in their prime. With Players like Johan Santana and Carlos Zambrano signing big money deals, its clear owners are more willing than ever to break the bank for a big game pitcher to be the ace of the staff. The biggest commodity heading into the offseason will be CC Sabathia. His unbelievable 2nd half, single- handedly carrying the Brewers into the playoffs, has assured him of getting a deal comparable to Santana’s 137.5 million dollar contract signed last offseason with the Mets. However, those looking to not break the bank on a recently abused arm, where weight issues might hinder success few years down the road should look no further than the sunny San Diego skies, the home of Jake Peavy.
The Padres have announced recently that they are putting their young Cy Young winning Ace on the trading block. It comes as no surprise to any fan of the game that teams have been lining up around the corner just for a shot at the 26 year old. Peavy has expressed to the Padres his desire to not be dealt to an AL team, because he doesn’t want to give up hitting. The early favorites are the Braves, Astros, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, and The Brewers.
Lets quickly break down the candidates in the Peavy Sweepstakes:
They are possibly the early favorites, with a fairly deep farm system of quality prospects and Jair Jurrjens to offer to the Friars. Plus Peavy, a Native of Alabama would probably most prefer to play near his hometown.
They don’t have the weapons to offer that the Braves do, but they do have Roy Oswalt, a very good friend of Peavy’s who may be able to influence his buddy’s choice.
With more young talent they know what to do with, the Dodgers could consider Peavy a nice consolation prize assuming they lose Manny this offseason. With Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingley, Matt Kemp, James Loney, and not much else in the minors the Dodgers must be prepared to part with some of their young Major League talent if they want Peavy in their rotation next year.
Not really a major need for the cubs but they need to be considered a contender in every trade conversation, especially after yet another disappointing playoff exit, they may be looking to do something major to get over the hump.
With Chris Carpenter’s future looking bleak, this team is in need of a big game starter.
They don’t exactly have the pieces necessary except for maybe Mat Gamel, but likely loosing Sabathia and Sheets will leave this team with a big hole at the front end of the rotation.
So where does Peavy end up….
Though it may not be a surprise pick I see Jake taking the rubber on opening day next April in Citizens’ Bank Park, not for the Phillies, but for the visiting Atlanta Braves. With Peavy having a no-trade clause, and the Padres seemingly trying to work with him to find the best place for a trade, I see Atlanta emerging as the ones who get it done. His southern ties give Atlanta an advantage, and their seemingly hot pursuit early in the trade talks show they are very interested. With the Padres in rebuilding mode, and trying to dump his salary, whoever lands Peavy will definitely not give up equal value. My suggestion to the teams ready to give Sabathia a blank check, part with some of your young players who might have a chance to become stars for a guy who is already a star. Being signed through 2013 doesn’t hurt either.