Over at ESPN.com, Jerry Crasnick and company surveyed "15 general managers, assistant GMs, baseball operations people and scouts" on several questions, one being, "Will the Padres trade pitcher Jake Peavy?" The responses he got seem to point overwhelmingly towards our Atlanta Braves:
Responses: 13 say Peavy will be traded, 2 say no.
Possible destinations: Atlanta 9, Dodgers 1, St. Louis 1, Cubs 1. The other "yes" voter said the Padres will trade Peavy "to anyone who'll give them four prospects."
Padres general manager Kevin Towers seems awfully motivated. He has a legitimate No. 1 starter, with a team that's not going to contend and a mandate to keep the payroll in line; Jake Peavy could bring several promising young players in return.
"Based on what I've seen, it sure sounds like [there'll be a deal]," said a National League scout. "There's been quite a bit of smoke." The Braves are the popular choice for a number of reasons. They've been the most aggressive suitor, and they have enough young talent to satisfy the Padres even after digging deep into the system to acquire Mark Teixeira a year ago. San Diego will have a tough time prying loose pitcher Tommy Hanson, who's tearing up the Arizona Fall League, or 19-year-old outfield prospect Jason Heyward, but there's more in Atlanta's cupboard. [...]
The most interesting note to me in this piece is the one other voter who said Peavy will go "to anyone who'll give [the Padres] four prospects." The other teams in this Peavy race really don't seem to have four prospects to give, but the Padres apparently covet our shortstop Yunel Escobar, so the Braves might be able to get away with Yunel and two prospects -- especially if we give the Padres even more financial flexibilty by taking Khalil Greene off their hands (not that this blogger thinks we should).
Both Peavy and Greene's salaries for 2009 equal $17.5 million ($11 for Peavy and $6.5 for Greene). If we really do have $40 million that we can spend this off-season, then using less than half of it on this deal seems like a fine use of money. Consider too that Greene will be a free agent next year and his salary will come off our books. Of course, we'd be hoping that Greene blossoms away from the pitcher-friendly confies of the Padres home park (he does hit 45 points higher on the road).
The more articles like this I read the more this trade seems like a foregone conclusion. It appears that the Padres will spend this week at the GM Meetings seeing if there are any other interesting offers for their ace pitcher. They will likely find none, so they may either try and convice Peavy to expand his list of acceptable teams or they may be forced to go back to Atlanta. It's still in their best interest to trade Peavy sooner rather than later, before all the free agent pitchers start hitting the market. That's why I still think we'll see this deal get done in the next couple of weeks -- before the Winter Meetings.
I'd be willing to bet that Tommy Hanson is one of the sticking points of this trade, with the Padres insisting upon his inclusion. In Frank Wren's camp the hardline has got to be that including Hanson is a deal-breaker. Once the Padres see that other teams don't have what they need, perhaps they will loosen their demands. That's what we're waiting on right now.
In that same article by Crasnick, we also got a vote for one of the possible destinations for free agent Ken Griffey Jr... but that's another topic of another day.