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Creeping Ever Closer

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At this point, if the Atlanta Braves do finally trade for San Diego ace Jake Peavy, it will be the least dramatic trade we've ever pulled off. How long have we been talking about this? A whole month? DOB says he wrote an article on October 6th about a possible Jake Peavy trade. The latest incarnation of the trade comes from CBS Sportsline:

Under terms of the deal discussed by the Braves and Padres, San Diego would receive shortstop Yunel Escobar, Class A outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, one of two starting pitchers -- Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes -- and either reliever Blaine Boyer or one of two minor-league left-handers (one of which is believed to be Jeff Locke).

This is the first we've heard of Boyer, but I'm more inclined to deal him than either Cole Rohrbough or Jeff Locke or another young arm. Boyer still has plenty of potential, but gosh he was abused last year, and he didn't respond very well to the increased work load. The article also says that the Padres are leaning towards Morton over Reyes. That is also fine with me. Both have their pluses, but both also have their flaws. It's anyone's guess as to which one will have more longterm success.

Another foregone conclusion that seems to be mentioned everywhere is the requirement by Peavy, as part of his approval of the deal, that the Braves pick up his $22 million option year, making the total remaining obligation $81 million over five years, or just over $16 million a year -- pretty decent for an ace pitcher, even if we are giving up our own talent to get him. Really, how often does an ace like this become available? You've got to act while you can.

If this trade does go down as described above, we will have traded three shortstops since August of 2007, and yet we would still have another shortstop (Brent Lillibridge) who was considered by some to be better than Escobar just two years ago.

Meanwhile, the Cubs and manager Lou Pinella are downplaying their reported interest in Peavy:

The Cubs' interest in Jake Peavy appears to be only so much talk.

Manager Lou Piniella said as much Wednesday [...] And others close to the situation suggested what Piniella said: that the Cubs' primary focus this offseason is adding a left-handed bat in the middle of the order, with any interest in Peavy falling well down the list. [...]

''I think it's only talk,'' said Piniella

And the Cubs interest in the first place may have been a negotiating tactic:

That appears to make the Cubs' role in the San Diego Padres' efforts to trade the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner -- and his $67million contract -- more of a willing listener than a serious pursuer as Padres general manager Kevin Towers tries to drive up the price on Peavy. And that might explain why every national media report on the subject the last week appears to be based on San Diego sources.

That's probably why we haven't heard of any massive expansion in the Braves offer to the Padres -- only minor pieces being moved about.

Another often mentioned aspect of this trade is the Braves insistence on a Friday deadline for San Diego to either accept or reject the trade. So get out your countdown scripts and get ready for a potentially wild next 48 hours.

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