Where will All-Star and Cy Young winner Jake Peavy be at the start of the '09 season? Well, if the Padres do trade him away, I hope Padres GM Kevin Towers is smart enough NOT to trade him to a divisional rival.
Hands down he is worth the money, plain and simple. Good pitching is hard to come by, but, great pitching is an even harder find. Keep him.
It's obvious what the Padres' problems were in the '08 season, scoring runs and stealing bases. With the exception of Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres have no legitimate consistent deep ball threat in the lineup. Since you will be losing your ace of the staff, you better get some power hitters in exchange for Peavy...oh and a catcher.
Peavy is from Alabama, so people may assume he will approve a trade to Atlanta, I don't think he will go there, as Atlanta really doesn't have much to offer that will have an instant affect on the Padres. I think there are 5 teams that Peavy could get traded to: Milwaukee, Houston, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and maybe the Cardinals. They all have post-season potential, however, Peavy would have to approve of any trade to any team, then throw on top of that the fact that historically, the Padres do not pay top dollar for talent.
So, even if a team does offer a good trade for Peavy, the Padres may not want to take on the salary of certain players that are offered. The Dodgers could also probably throw something out to the Padres, but, I just don't see him going there unless it is too good to pass up for the Padres.
If Peavy does indeed get traded, what does that mean for the Padres in '09? Well, they still would have Chris Young who continues to flirt with no hitters. However, he's never won more than 12 games in his career. So, after Young, who else is on the Padres rotation? Clay Hensley? He walks too many people. Cha Seung Baek. He can't win at home. Well, there really isn't much left, to be honest, for the Padres starting rotation. Without Peavy, the rotation will be much much worse right away. In the short term, the Padres will suffer another losing season if Peavy is gone.
The long term out look for the Padres if Peavy is traded? Well, depends on what Towers can pull off. He could get some top of the line minor league prospects that will bolster the starting rotation in a couple of years. The truth is, unless the Padres open up the purse strings and bring in some big bats, it's going to be some lean times if Peavy is gone.
After having said all of that, my money is on Houston. Roy Oswalt is Peavy's hunting partner and good friend, plus, Peavy has expressed in the past that he would love to pitch with Oswalt. My Wild Card in the Peavy sweepstakes would be Boston after having come up short in the ACLS, even though Peavy has said that he wants to stay in the National League. Unless the Padres can field a team that can score 8-9 runs a game at least, I don't think they can afford to lose Peavy, even though they think they can't afford to keep him.