Last week, the Chicago White Sox were within inches of trading for past and future perennial Cy Young winner, Jake Peavy. Both the Sox and the San Diego Padres signed off on the deal, but the one party who didn’t approve the trade was the man himself, Peavy, who has a full no-trade clause. Which, in layman’s terms, means that he can veto any trade to any team. In this case, Peavy didn’t want to play for the White Sox, a team that consists of aging veterans who are routinely getting beat by the Kansas City Royals. I’d say ol’ Jake made the right move.
Peavy has made it abundantly clear that he wants to stay in the National League, and thus far, his most likely suitors have been the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. However, the Padres would be wisely reticent to move Peavy to a division rival, and the Cubs’ financial problems might prove to be a stumbling block when it comes to obtaining the right-handed pitcher.
So, what does that mean? Maybe nothing, maybe everything. The Padres have been in the middle of a winning streak that puts them just a stone’s throw at 7.5 games behind the Dodgers for the National League west lead. Of course, no one expects the Padres to keep up that pace, so it’s safe to say that the Fadders are going to be looking for a suitor for Peavy before July. After all, San Diego is a financially challenged team, and Peavy is going to be owed over 17 million simoleans with a 22 million dollar option for 2013.
So if Peavy is to get traded, it’s going to be to a team that has (1) payroll flexibility, (2) a winning pedigree that Peavy could thrive in, (3) A National League team, and (4) A team of kickass bloggers who sell shirts.
1: After 2009, the Phillies can kiss goodbye the contracts of Adam Eaton and Geoff Jenkins. Brett Myers, assuming he doesn’t re-sign, is off the books as well. Not to mention the Phillies are selling tickets hand-over-fist, so it won’t be too much trouble to raise the payroll.
2. The Phillies have a core of players that is locked up for the foreseeable future. Utley, Howard and Rollins are all in their primes, and Ibanez, Werth and Victorino aren’t going anywhere until at least after 2010. This is a team that is built to win, and built to win now.
3. The Philadelphia Phillies are in the National League. Check and mate.
4. I don’t know why Peavy has a preference for a team that has a kickass team of bloggers, but I digress. TheFightins dot com brings it, and it brings it hard. Our players even talk about our shirts on television. Beat that, Pittsburgh Pirates.
But in all seriousness, the Phillies have no reason to at least not try to bring Peavy to the City of Brotherly Love. Putting him behind Hamels and in front of Myers would give the Phillies the best rotation in the National League, without question.
The Chicago White Sox offered the Padres a good package of prospects, but nothing that the Phillies couldn’t match or even exceed. There is a lot to be said about giving up the farm for one player, but Jake Peavy is a winning lottery ticket that the Phillies can cash for the next four years.
So this is to you, Ruben. Go after Peavy. Don’t take no for an answer. This team could be a dynasty that will dominate the NL east until well into the next decade. And you will be the architect of it. Ruben Amaro, Jr., the man who brought Peavy to Philly. The man who turned the 2008 champs into the 2009 champs. And the 2010 champs. And so on, and so on.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
[Writer's Note: This was written before the final game against the Marlins, and before Brett Myers left the game with a hip injury. Until the results from his MRI come back, we have to assume the worst. And that, my friends, is that our number two pitcher is going to miss some significant playing time. Which means the Phillies are going to need to get another pitcher, and they are going to need to get one pronto. And although Peavy is the White Whale (and 'Take Jake' has such a nice ring to it - Thanks Chamo), the Phils could go after any of the available pitchers. Erik Bedard. Roy Oswalt. Jason Marquis *shudder*. Brad Penny *double shudder*. The point is, there are available pitchers out there who can help the Phillies in 2009. And the front office needs to make a move.]
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