Jake Peavy was reportedly involved in a deal that would have sent him to the Chicago White Sox for prospects Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda, among others.
However, Peavy quickly shot down that trade, exercising his full "no trade" clause. He has expressed a desire to pitch in Chicago, but that desire was to pitch on the North side, not the South.
With Peavy rejecting the deal, it got me thinking of other possible locations he could be traded to. I have come up with the top five likely NL destinations, plus a bonus AL team.
1. Atlanta Braves
The Braves have a highly rated farm system (sixth overall, according to Baseball America) headed by Tommy Hanson (Pitcher). However, the Braves have said Hanson is likely off limits as far as trade talks are concerned.
But there are still other good prospects the Braves could deal.Some of those prospects include: Jason Heyward (OF, may also be off limits), Gorkys Hernandez (OF), and multiple pitching prospects.
Another positive is that Peavy would probably accept a trade to Atlanta considering the Braves would likely be competitive, it is a pitchers ball park, and he would stay in the National League.
Negotiations between the Padres and Braves took a turn for the worst this offseason, with the Braves upset with the way San Diego GM Kevin Towers handled things. So the Braves would have to likely be willing to look past that.
Another big issue could be money and whether the Braves would be willing to invest in Peavy.
And finally there may be other key issues, like another middle-of-the-order power hitter. They invested money in Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe, so there may not be that urgency at starting pitching that there was over the winter.
2. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers are among the top 10 in terms of their farm system. They can center a deal around prospects such as Matt Gamel (3B, and probably unlikely to get dealt), Alcides Escobar (SS), and Jeremy Jeffress (Pitcher).
The Brewers are also a National League team and as long as they remain among the top two or three in the NL Central, they should have a good chance of luring Peavy in.
Finally, the organization claims its focus is still on winning and if that is the case, then the Brewers may be willing to spend the money necessary to get Peavy.
Payroll may be an issue with the Brewers considering they were unable to re-sign C.C. Sabathia, although I suppose no one could match the contract the Yankees were willing to give him.
The Brewers could also be better suited to go after more than one starting pitcher with their weak rotation, so they may look for two quality starters rather than one really good starter.
Another key factor is the season-ending injury to Rickie Weeks. If they are looking for a replacement for Weeks, it could decrease the chances of pulling of a deal for Peavy.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies desparately need another starting pitcher and could easily be the front runners. They have good solid prospects including Carlos Carrasco (pitcher), Domnic Brown (OF), and Lou Marson (catcher) just to name a few.
This is a top-15 farm system and should have enough good young prospects to make a deal go through. Philadelphia also probably has enough financial stability to acquire a contract like Peavy's.
Peavy may not want to go to Philadelphia, because of the homer-friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park. If the Braves or Brewers decide they really want Peavy, Philadelphia may have a hard time outbidding them.
Philadelphia may also need more than one starting pitcher, so they could be going after two starters at better/cheaper prices.
4. Chicago Cubs
Peavy has reportedly expressed interest in becoming a Chicago Cub. They are a National League team, which is a big plus, and if they can get the ownership situation cleared up by the deadline, they may be able to make a deal.
Also if the Padres are interested in Major League ready pitchers, then guys like Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija may be what the Padres are looking for.
The farm system is pretty weak at the moment and it would not be a wise idea for the Cubs to give up their top prospect, Josh Vitters (3B), who would more than likely have to be involved.
The Cubs also don’t seem to have the great pitching prospects, although it is possible that the Padres may have some interest in Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Randy Wells.
The ownership situation, which still isn’t finalized, may also stand in the way of a big deal for Peavy. But most of all, the Cubs don’t seem to be in dire need to get starting pitching with a pretty good rotation right now.
5. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are in the National League and there seem to be indications that Peavy would pitch in St. Louis.
The health concerns of Chris Carpenter could force the Cardinals to pull the trigger and make the deal. They have the prospects to get such a deal done, ranking in the top 10 in prospects.
The rotation has been looking better and they are getting Carpenter back, so the need for a starting pitcher may not be there. The Cardinals may have greater needs, like on offense, or possibly in the bullpen.
Also, if the Padres ask for Colby Rasmus or Brett Wallace, the Cardinals may sour on the deal. Payroll or an unwillingness to invest in Peavy may be there as well.
Wild Card: Boston Red Sox
Clay Bucholz is a big key that most teams seem very interested in. If the Red Sox decide they could use a guy like Peavy, they may use Bucholz and some other prospects to build a package.
They also have the money to be capable to make such a move and if they have problems with guys like Brad Penny, Tim Wakefield, and Jon Lester, they may feel inclined to do so.
Finally, they are a team that will more than likely be in the thick of things come the end of the regular season.
First off, they are an American League team and Peavy has said he would like to stay in the National League. However, Boston is likely to be a playoff contender and that may be enticing for Peavy.
Boston is also pretty deep in starting pitching. John Smoltz on his way back and the Red Sox could decide that Buckholz is a better and cheaper answer than Peavy.