Jake Peavy isn’t going to the Cubs… for now. And just when I was starting to like the names being mentioned. Did you notice how the rumored packages went from being awful, to decent, to pretty good? At the very least, Kevin Towers deserves credit for not jumping on any old deal, like some folks seemed to assume he would. (Of course, it’s his job to refrain from making lousy trades, so how much credit he deserves is open to debate.)
Still, we’re left with the question: Now what? Well, holding onto Peavy remains an option. Actually, given his lack of potential suitors and questionable desire to accept a trade, it remains a pretty likely option.
The downside is that if the Padres really trim their 2009 payroll to $40 million, then 27.5% of that is tied up in one player. For a little perspective, consider that the Yankees had a payroll last year of roughly $209 million. If they were to pay one guy as much as the Padres will pay Peavy this year proportional to total outlay, the pricetag would be $57.4 million. The Yankees’ most expensive player, Alex Rodriguez, made $27 million in 2008.
Yes, you read that right. If the Padres are at $40 million next year, Peavy at his current price will cost double, proportional to overall payroll, what A-Rod cost the Yankees last year. Is Peavy worth more than twice as much as the highest paid player in baseball? To a team that is coming off a 99-loss season?
More importantly, will the Padres be able to compete with Peavy still on the roster? Ironically, he may actually hurt their chances because the team is now limited in the other moves it can make to shore up holes (and you may have noticed there are a few). When soon-to-be-42-year-old Omar Vizquel is mentioned as a possible replacement for Khalil Greene at shortstop and a 21-year-old who played in Low-A last year is plucked in the Rule V draft (comparisons to Rafael Furcal are fun; comparisons to Donaldo Mendez, not so much), it’s hardly cause for celebration.
Meanwhile, the ownership situation continues to be murkier than Mission Bay after a heavy rain. I keep telling myself that I should be upset by all of this, but instead I just find it fascinating. Like, how much worse can the situation get? And the answer is none. None more worse.
(Incidentally, the comments in that last linked article are hilarious. I considered joining the discussion but balked at the clause in the Terms and Conditions that requires users to “acknowledge that I am a complete moron and agree to clutter this space with words and thoughts that only other morons will understand and appreciate.” I just couldn’t abide by that. Fortunately they don’t seem to need my help.)
So where does this leave us? Pretty much the same place we were before the Winter Meetings — too much money tied up into one (very talented) player who doesn’t want to be traded and whom nobody is anxious to acquire, too many holes elsewhere that will be difficult to fill without funds, and an ownership divided.
Really, with this kind of excitement, who even needs a season?