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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jake Peavy Now Playing GM, Too

OK, so the Padres need a ton of help to become a competitive team again. Their offense last year was dreadful. They have one All-Star stick in Adrian Gonzalez, and a few decent ones in Brian Giles and Kevin Kouzmanoff. Their lineup was so bad that Jody Gerut appeared to be a brilliant pick up. There aren’t many hitters in the pipeline either, so San Diego is desperate to turn around their offense. Their pitching wasn’t terrible last year, being anchored by Jake Peavy, and Chris Young (when he wasn’t having his face caved in by line drives). Still, not too many arms in waiting there. And despite pitching like an ace again last season, Jake Peavy only wound up 10-11, with the team going 12-15 in games he started. As good as he is, with no offense and a bad defense behind him, even Peavy’s only a .500 pitcher. That’s why it makes sense to trade him — which has become a virtual certainty for the Padres at this point. Only a few problems.

Jake Peavy has an exclusive list of teams to which he’ll accept a trade, and for the most part, it’s to National League clubs he deems as contenders. Using what I just outlined as evidence, the Padres know they need several players in return in order to compete. And therein lies the problem: Peavy doesn’t want his arrival to result in the crippling of the team to which he is traded, which is why he’s now playing GM, too. Here’s the logic from Peavy’s agent that explains the potential holdups: “One of the things we will want to look at some point is, ‘Who are you giving up? How much are you weakening your team to make this deal?'” [Barry] Axelrod said. “If Team X trades three starting pitchers and a starting shortstop to get Jake Peavy, that lessens their chance of being a successful team.” So not only is Jake limiting the list of teams to which he’d accept a trade, now he’s being picky about who his new team is giving up. And you know what? I have no problem with it.

Jake already did the Padres a tremendous favor signing with them for more than a bargain discount. This is a guy who won the triple crown of pitching and the Cy Young unanimously. He could have named his price on the free agent market, yet he accepted a 3-year $52 million extension from the Padres. Barry Zito got $126 million over 7 years. Jake’s already done the Padres a huge favor, no need to do them a second. As for the Padres, from what I’ve heard in the rumor mill, it doesn’t sound like they’ll be getting back as much as they should for an ace of Peavy’s caliber. We shall see.



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