Categorized | Chicago Cubs

Padres Ace Peavy to Cubs?

Posted on 03 November 2008 by Lou

Let the rumors roll…

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MLB Executives are in Dana Point, California this week for the annual winter baseball meetings. Most of the focus is always on the signing of the current year’s crop of free agents. This year, that would include workhorse pitcher CC Sabbathia, the unpredictable Manny Ramirez, young hitter Mark Texiera and reliable starter Derek Lowe. But there are a few others that might be available via the trade.

On the Cubs front, rumor has it that Cubs GM Jim Hendry had a productive golf round with Padres GM Kevin Towers. Hendry and Towers have pulled off trades before, Michael Barrett in 2007 and Greg Maddux in 2006, so it isn’t unusual to see these 2 working the communication hot lines early during the winter meetings. Peavy is a top of the rotation starter for any ball club. Peavy is currently locked up through 2012 with a $60 million contract. The Padres also have a club option for 2013. Peavy has said he would be willing to waive his no trade clause to play for a handful of teams, one of them being the Cubs. The Padres are looking for 3-4 young prospects in return for Peavy. The Atlanta Braves are considered to be the front-runner to land Peavy, because they have been aggressive in their pursuit of him and they have the young prospects to back it up. The Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals have also expressed significant interest, but it doesn’t appear that their systems are as deep as the Braves.

That’s where the Cubs could slide in. The Cubs are focused on signing free agent pitchers Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t consider offers for one of the best pitchers in the game today. Even if the Cubs do sign Dempster, the Cubs could still justify a trade for Peavy given the pains that the Cubs have dealt with recently with injuries to starting pitchers (see Wood and Mark Prior). Peavy has made at least 27 starts and struck out at least 156 batters in each of the last 6 big league seasons. During the last 5 seasons, his ERA has been in the 2’s save for a 4.09 ERA in 2006 and his WHIP hasn’t crept above 1.23. Peavy is a reliable, dependable starter who would fit in perfectly with the current starting rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly. The Cubs would likely have to part ways with a Sean Marshall, a Felix Pie, a Ronny Cedeno and maybe even a Jason Marquis (if the Padres were willing to take his salary), but with Peavy locked up for 4 years, it would be worth the cost.

This could negatively affect a potential trade for lead-off hitter Brian Roberts from the Baltimore Orioles, but as they say, pitching and defense win World Series titles.

Stay tuned Cubs fans – -things will sure get interesting over the next few weeks…

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