Rumors have been swirling the past few weeks involving the Milwaukee Brewers acquiring veteran Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres. While most Brewers fans are torn on the argument, there is good reason to bring the ace to the Midwest.
1. Peavy gives the Brewers a definite No. 1 pitcher
Yovani Gallardo has pitched outstanding at times this year, but a weakness of his is overthrowing and missing the strike zone. One of the reasons his control is off at times could stem from the fact that he is pressing too hard to be the Brewers ace.
Everyone in Milwaukee loves to see him step on the hill, but the fact of the matter is that he is not an ace just yet. He would be a great compliment to Peavy just as Ben Sheets was last year to midseason acquisition CC Sabathia.
Moving Gallardo to the second spot would also move bust Jeff Suppan out of the rotation. While his contract is most likely too big to trade away and moving him to the bullpen would be admitting a huge mistake, it might be the only option.
Dave Bush has pitched great for the Brewers this year and there is no reason to think he would leave. While Braden Looper has been nothing special, he has not pitched poorly by any means and would keep his spot.
Manny Parra has pitched outstanding lately and gives the Brewers a left-handed starter in the rotation. Also, his bullpen outings last year were a disaster (6.30 ERA) so moving him back would do no good to one of the best bullpens in the National League.
2. The Brewers’ deep farm system allows for a trade like this
The Padres are clearly trying to obtain pitching in the deal and the Brewers have just that. Jeremy Jeffress, the Brewers first round pick in 2006, probably has the most upside of any pitcher on the Brewers not named Yovani Gallardo.
He would more than likely be the key to the trade. Two other pitching names that would be potentially thrown in the mix are Evan Anundsen or Jake Ordiozzi.
While the Brewers do not have the strongest pitching prospects of the teams interested in Peavy, their position players may do the trick. Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel are the top two prospects for the Brewers and one of them would more than likely be involved in trade.
While general manager Doug Melvin has stated that he does not want to part with either, getting Peavy would be very hard to pass on if the Brewers stay in the NL Central race.
The more likely of the two to go would be Escobar due to Gamel’s position. The Padres are pretty much set at first and third base, the only two positions Gamel could reasonably play, with Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanhoff.
Escobar has an outstanding glove in the field but his plate discipline has been questioned in the past. Still, he is a top prospect that will start at shortstop in the majors for a long time.
3. The Brewers are a young at many positions
With Mat Gamel inserted at third base, the Brewers average age in the infield with Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, and Gamel is 25.5 years old.
Fielder is signed through 2010 and Weeks, Hardy, and Gamel should all re-sign with the team next year. With one of the youngest infields in the league, farm-system players are not the biggest necessity for the Brewers.
It is true that Milwaukee has built within the last few years, but their time to make a run is now and minor leaguers will not help right away. Weeks is the oldest infielder at 27 years of age but last year’s first round draft pick Brett Lawrie looks to be the future whenever Weeks leaves the team.
As for the rotation, the same can not be said as Peavy would be an all-or-nothing deal for the Brewers. Gallardo and Parra look to be Brewers for quite some time and form a good duo in the front end of the rotation, but past them the future would be uncertain if the trade were to go through.
At the beginning of next year, Dave Bush will be 30, Jeff Suppan will be 34, and Braden Looper will be 35. Losing two of the team’s top pitching prospects in the trade would be a huge risk for the Brewers, but Peavy is worth it.
4. Peavy is not CC Sabathia Part II
Last year when the Brewers traded for CC Sabathia, they knew they were trading for a pitcher that would last them half of a year at most. Sabathia’s contract was up and, even if he had not been the best pitcher on the planet in that span, his price tag still would have been too much for the Brewers to take on.
On the other hand, Peavy’s contract situation would make him a Brewer until 2012, with an option for 2013. Peavy is 28 right now, meaning he would be just 32 at the end of the contract.
There is no reason that he will not continue his dominance on the mound until that time, all while making the Brewers legitimate contenders in the National League.
The financial problems involved in dealing with Peavy’s contract gives some cause for concern, but if Melvin really wants to get the deal done he will find a way to make Peavy a Milwaukee Brewer.