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Obviously, when Padres general manager Kevin Towers decided to start over with his team by moving his hottest commodity for prospects, Peavy was the guy. Towers has supposedly been in trade talks ever since, though the specific teams and the number of whom are interested seems to fluctuate on a daily basis. This is the Hot Stove league at its very best and worst at the same time. It can be exciting or annoying, depending upon your point of view.
The two main suitors for Peavy seem to be the Cubs and Braves. Let's take a look at where we've been and the chances of a deal moving forward.
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We've been all over the place with this one. The deal has been rumored to be near done, but it's also been said that there is no possibility. We've heard that Peavy -- he of the no-trade clause power -- wants to play for the Cubs, with an assist to Rick Sutcliffe. We heard about packages involving several Cubs prospects, including Jose Ceda. Then Ceda was dealt to the Marlins for Kevin Gregg. The deal was thought dead again. Then Towers said the Cubs would have to bring in a third team, because he didn't like enough of their prospects. The deal was thought dead again.
Well, the latest is that several sources believe the Cubs are going to find a third team. The report where Lou Pinella said the pitching staff is set could be rendered void in the newest rumor, because fifth starter Jason Marquis would be headed to San Diego. Most rumors have indicated the Baltimore Orioles as the third team, and that one-time mega-prospect Felix Piewould be on his way to Baltimore.
For the Cubs, this deal just makes too much sense to not make. You'd replace Marquis with an elite starter, pushing each respective starter back a spot in their rotation. The rotation -- which I've called a dream one before -- would look like: Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, and Rich Harden.Peavy to Atlanta Braves
The Braves were once thought to be the front-runner, and many still believe they will eventually land Peavy. It's no secret the Braves are in desperate need of starting pitching, and they are planning on adding at least two arms to the rotation. If they can swing A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe, they'll definitely not even worry about dealing prospects to the Padres.
We've heard that Yunel Escobar's inclusion is a must for the Padres, but that Peavy might invoke his no-trade clause if Escobar is included. More recently, we've heard the Braves don't want to deal for Peavy if he insists on keeping a full no-trade clause in his contract.
Most recently, we've heard the Braves and Padres haven't discussed a deal in weeks. With the Winter Meetings in the near future, however, talks could easily be rekindled.Peavy Somewhere Else?
At first, it was thought that Peavy would veto any deal to an American League team. Then there were rumors that he would consider both the Yankees and the Angels. Both teams, at this time, seem to have set their sights on free agents such as CC Sabathia. Neither has been linked to Peavy in a few weeks.
Recently, speculation has the Dodgers tied to Peavy. The Cardinals and Astros are among the teams on Peavy's original list of teams to which he'd approve a trade, but neither is a likely landing spot.
Finally, we're back to the Padres. Towers is going to need a windfall similar to what the Orioles got for Erik Bedard last year. If no one comes with an offer that substantial, it would behoove him to hold onto Peavy. From there, his options are to to build the future around Peavy -- which I already suggested he do -- or trade him for a possible higher haul at the trade deadline. Teams will be more desperate at the deadline, but he runs the risk of an injury to his ace or teams like the Cubs or Braves filling their needs and not being interested any longer.Prediction
While it's true I told people to give up on the dream a bit ago, I can't help but keep that homer hat on and hope alive. I predict he joins the Cubs rotation and Marquis is shipped out of town. Sean Marshall will be kept around in case injuries should arise.
I believe the Orioles will be the third team, because they still covet Felix Pie. That won't be a problem, because the Cubs are ready to wash their hands of him.
The Braves are going to sign a few pitchers, with Lowe sitting atop their wish-list.
As for the Padres, well, 2009 is going to be a long year. A very, very long year.
As I said earlier, though, this whole Peavy rumor mill mess is a perfect illustration of just how quickly things change when it's Hot Stove time in baseball. Who knows, we could see the Reds swoop in and land Peavy. Stranger things have happened.
Hat-Tip: MLB Trade Rumors
From the Windup: Jake Peavy Sweepstakes Leaves Heads Spinning Everywhere originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 01 Dec 2008 14:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.