The man is 27 years old, was a unanimous winner of the 2007 NL Cy Young Award, has averaged 192 innings and 194 strikeouts in six full seasons in the majors, and is under contract through 2011. Ace in prime. Plain and simple . . .There is a big difference, however, between the Hudson and Peavy situations, and that's the price that trading for Peavy will command. Sometime between the Hudson-for-bupkes trade and 2008, Billy Beane realized that he needed to demand more for a top line starting pitcher. Enter the Danny Haren deal, which sent a boatload of good prospects to Oakland. Kevin Towers and Paul DePodesta read newspapers, and they realize that the price for what they're selling is higher as well. Upshot: the modern day version of Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas is not going to get the deal done.
. . . Other teams will surely make strong offers, too. But as I said before, the Braves have a potentially significant advantage in that Peavy is an Alabama boy, born and raised, and he and his wife and kids make their offseason home in ‘Bama, not in San Diego. Translated: Can’t take the South out of this dude, who grew up loving the Braves and in the past has told friends how much he’d like to pitch for Atlanta . . .
. . . Getting an in-his-prime ace like this cat, who’s averaged 13 wins over six full seasons for some lackluster (and some plain bad) San Diego teams, a guy with a sub-2.90 ERA in four of the past five seasons, is only a legit possibility because the retooling Padres might shed his salary if they get several good young players and/or solid prospects in return.
And that would be the case even if Peavy weren't relatively cheap for 2009 and locked up like nobody's business for the foreseeable future. But he is, which gives the Padres all kinds of leverage. If I were Kevin Towers, I'd sit on this one until next May or June, and then extract prospects from the desperate. Sure, Peavy has a no-trade clause, but based on what I've read, he's not going to be a jerk about it. He and Towers have lots of time to figure out who the right partners are and will likely be able to move quickly when the time is right.
All of which counsels against the Braves jumping in to the Peavy pool. While Atlanta has had a remarkably strong farm system in recent years, they bled a lot of prospects in the Teixeira deal, and don't need to bleed more now. Even for an ace like Peavy.