Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jake Peavy Says No!

And after all the hoopla, rumors, and hysteria; Jake Peavy is still a San Diego Padre. The White Sox, led by GM Kenny Williams, made a strong push for the Padres ace, but they were unable to convince Peavy to come to Chicago.

No surprise there: it's been well documented that Peavy wants to remain in the National League and is comfortable in San Diego and is hesitant to move.

There is no doubt that Peavy's rejection hurts the White Sox in 2009. Peavy is a legitimate front line starter, who would have been a fine fit in front of John Danks and Gavin Floyd in the starting rotation. Peavy would have elevated the White Sox from an average team to a legitimate contender in the AL Central.

But all that's for naught now. For the time being, the White Sox will need to get by with the starting pitchers they have; no matter how badly they are struggling.

As for the Padres, I am a firm believer that the Padres inability to trade Peavy is severely hurting the franchise. Even though Peavy is one of the Padres best players, the team will struggle to rebuild with Peavy's contract on the books. When Peavy's contract extension kicks in next season, his contract takes up a good chunk (1/4-1/5) of the Padres total payroll. For a struggling team like the Padres, that's far too much for any player.

Keep this in mind: because the Padres play in the spacious PETCO Park, finding quality starting pitching is not nearly as difficult as it is for the rest of the league. There are many pitchers,Peavy included, who benefit greatly by pitching in PETCO. So the idea that Peavy is irreplaceable for the Padres is silly in my mind. If anything, he is probably somewhat overrated because he pitches half his games at PETCO.

And ask yourself, do the Padres have a legitimate chance to compete this season? Probably not. They have played better than expected so far, but their offense simply does not put enough runs on the board for the Padres to compete. Moving Peavy now would have enabled the Padres to jump start the rebuilding process and given management flexibility to improve the team in other areas (OFFENSE, OFFENSE, OFFENSE).

I would love to see the Padres build around Peavy. This guy is a stud and his ability and attitude make him a tremendous asset. But unfortunately for the Padres, the economics of baseball make retaining Jake Peavy detrimental to the future of the franchise.

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