Back in December, I penned this piece on why I thought Jake Peavy and the Milwaukee Brewers were the "perfect fit". At the time, the Padres were looking to move Peavy because John Moores, the Padres owner at the time, was going through a messy divorce and needed to slash payroll. Peavy became the subject of trade rumors all over the baseball world because of his high salary and new contract extension that was set to kick in.
Even though most people focused solely on the Cubs and Braves as suitors for Peavy at the time, I thought the Brewers would have been a great landing spot for Peavy. Here were my reasons why:
1. NL team
2. ace to replace Sabathia and Sheets
3. "affordable" ace
4. quality Brewers prospects
As we all know, the Brewers and Padres never came close to making a trade for Jake Peavy during the offseason, but I absolutely believe that the Brewers should consider making a deal for Peavy in the upcoming months, assuming that GM Kevin Towers is still willing to move him.
The following are my reasons why the Brewers are STILL are great fit for Jake Peavy.
1. NL team
-After rejecting a trade to the White Sox, Towers knows that if he wants to move Peavy, it MUST be to a NL team. The Brewers obviously fit the bill.
(Note: Is Wisconsin "middle of America"?)
-Even without Sabathia and Sheets, the Brewers starting rotation has pitched very well this season. Led by Yovani Gallardo, David Bush, Trevor Hoffman, and Mark DiFelice, the Brewers pitching staff ranks fifth in the NL in ERA at 3.88. But there is no doubt that Peavy would be a substantial upgrade over Jeff Suppan or Manny Parra in the starting rotation and give the Brewers a dominant 1-2 punch with Peavy and Gallardo.
Not too mention that the Brewers bullpen has been very good so far. Unlike last season, the Brewers have a quality closer and a long list of guys, who are pitching very well. A pitcher like Peavy could win lots of games with a quality bullpen pitching behind him.
3. Peavy is no Sabathia (and that's a good thing!)
-Unlike CC Sabathia a year ago, Jake Peavy has a long term contract through 2012, which means that the Brewers would have their ace under contract during the prime of his career (at a very good price!). With Peavy and Gallardo in the fold long term, the Brewers really could be building something special.
4. Prince Fielder Effect
-After 2011, Prince Fielder, the face of the Brewers, will be a free agent and will probably go elsewhere. The window on this team is closing and if they want to win now, adding Peavy will only help their cause.
5. Strength of the NL Central
-There is no doubt that the NL Central is one of the strongest divisions in baseball right now. The Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, and perhaps even the Reds all have a shot at the playoffs this season. Adding Peavy to the roster would give the Brewers a dramatic push forward as the Brewers try to spring board past these three teams.
6. Brewers have lots to offer
-Between Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress, Brett Lawrie, Angel Solome, and more; the Padres should have no problem identifying prospects, who they like. It remains to be seen if the Brewers would include a young player like Manny Parra or Carlos Villanueva in the deal, but the options are there. (Note: how does the loss of Rickie Weeks affect the Brewers ability to make a big trade?)
Of course, there are several flaws in the argument and questions that need to be answered.
Can the Brewers add Peavy's salary? Will Peavy even accept a trade to Milwaukee? Is Milwaukee "middle America" enough for Peavy? Can Jake Peavy get over his love for San Diego? Will the Brewers be able to part with their top prospects after losing Rickie Weeks for the season? Do the Padres even want to trade Peavy anymore?
Many of the same reasons why I thought the Brewers should go after Peavy in December have remained almost identical to now. But the major difference is that the Brewers have played very good ball so far this season and have proved to the rest of the league that they are for real. The goal is no longer to replace Sabathia and Sheets, but instead, to make a major push towards the playoffs in 2009.
When it comes down to it, the opportunity to add a top flight starting pitcher rarely presents itself nowadays. The Brewers need to at least explore the market for Peavy and see if there is any chance of making this a reality.