Last year, it was Johan Santana making the "big splash" in the offseason. This year, it might as well be another big-name pitcher, Jake Peavy. It has been reported that he's shown interest in five possible teams: Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, and Astros, all of which would be very suitable places for a former Cy Young winner.
With the Padres not looking like they are going anywhere soon, it's time for him to stop being their franchise player and play for a contender. Here's a breakdown of each team that suits Peavy's liking.
The Braves have been without pitcher Tim Hudson for most of the season and don't know how he will rebound from right-elbow surgery. Atlanta's starting pitching was quite shaky this season, except for Jair Jurrjens, who was formidable mostly the whole season.
Peavy would add a solidifying ace to the staff in front of Hudson as the Braves try to regain their NL East title after a surprising 4th place finish last season.
The pitching situation in St. Louis was simply amazing after what could have easily been a disaster. During his stay in Cincinnati, Kyle Lohse went 6-12 and started the season off very badly. But expectations were shown after going to Philadelphia, posting three wins, and then going to St. Louis
All of their starters showed everything they had last season. Peavy would add the "finishing touch" to the staff and give them that guy (other than Wainwright) that will almost guarantee you that win and keep the score low.
What would a season be in Chicago without a downfall in the playoffs? It's like no matter who is on their pitching staff, they have trouble. Peavy, however, would give them an All-Star staff, as if it's like they didn't have one already. Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, and Rich Harden are all very capable of being the go-to guy.
Add in Peavy, and this is one of the most solid pitching staffs in the league to go along with a high-power bullpen. And don't forget reliever turned starter Ryan Dempster, who posted an ERA below three and 17 wins.
With the possibility of losing Derek Lowe to free agency, the Dodgers could use Peavy to help out younger guys like Clayton Kershaw. Moving to a N.L. West rival may be ideal for Peavy since he would see a similar schedule strength as he did in San Diego. If Manny Ramirez does indeed return to L.A. and a deal is made for Peavy, the Dodgers could be looking at another strong playoff push.
Finally, to the massacre in Houston. The two other N.L. Central candidates for Peavy seem to have much more potential than the Astros, but keep in mind Peavy and current Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt are very close friends.
After those two, their staff goes downhill. What really kept them in contention, so to speak, this year was their offense. Roy Oswalt every five days and then hoping you could get a guy to go six strong innings doesn't speak playoff baseball. Especially being that Oswalt started off sluggish in the first few weeks of the season but eventually picked it up greatly.
So where should Peavy go? Being that he is primitive to San Diego and the state of California, look for him to stay somewhere in the vicinity of the state. Los Angeles would make a lot of sense, but so would staying in San Diego. Instead of asking for a trade somewhere else, Mr. Peavy should ask the front office for some run support.