Apparently the Padres are "officially" making starting pitcher Jake Peavy available for acquisition through trade:
"This was a different year than last year," general manager Kevin Towers said of the shift in priorities, before noting the difficulty. "You're arguably talking about moving one of the top pitchers in the game. But it's not a 100-percent given.
"Nothing is imminent."
So it's still not a bullish position, but it certainly means he's going to seriously consider every offer. But here's the rub, as a Padres beat writer notes, the Fathers don't have to trade Peavy:
I think there's a chance Peavy could get moved to another team before next season. But I think it's going to take a monster offer to get a deal done, meaning the Padres don't have to deal the right-hander.
He'll make $11 million in 2009, which is regarded as affordable by today's standards for a pitcher of his stature. If a team blows the Padres away with an offer of top Minor League prospects, with some being close to being Major League ready, I think the Padres could bite. The Braves have some interesting prospects to dangle. Stay tuned.
Peavy is signed through 2012, with an option for 2013, so the Padres, while needing to rebuild their club, don't have to settle for an offer like the Twins did for Johan Santana last year. They can hold out for a better offer next July 31st trading deadline, or for a better offer next winter.
The conventional wisdom says that the offer will have to equal or surpass the six prospects that Oakland got from Arizona for Dan Haren last winter, with a least a couple guys who are almost major league ready.
I don't know if that increases the competition or decreases the competition. There aren't many teams who would be willing to give up that many prospects, even for Peavy, and there are probably even fewer teams who meet the requirement of that many high-caliber prospects.
This is an opening offer, of course, but it's going to take a haul of prospects and San Diego really does hold all the cards -- because again, they don't have to trade Peavy.
The Braves have money this off-season, I would rather us spend it directly on free agents and not give up prospects. This is also an off-season where we don't have to surrender any draft picks no matter who we sign, so I say this is the perfect time to be players in the free agent market. If some other team is willing to mortgage so many prospects for one pitcher, I say let them. Sometimes it works out (Sabathia and the Brewers), and sometimes it doesn't (Haren and the D-Backs, Santana and the Mets).