Peavy would request a trade if Sox begin to rebuild

Jake Peavy told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that he would ask for a trade if the White Sox decided to start the rebuilding process this season.

“I just want a chance to win,” Peavy said. “I believe it can happen here. I’m excited to be in the situation. Nothing’s changed just because we haven’t played well. I’m excited to be in a situation where you talk about it’s not going to be a rebuilding process. If that were the case, I would certainly try to be moved, but that’s the least of my worries.

“Obviously, something’s got to give,” Peavy said. “We’ve underachieved as a team, as a whole organization. I could not have imagined being in this situation at this point in the year, with what we came into camp with I was excited. Other than the captain [Paul Konerko] and Alex Rios I think everybody has had below their expectations this year. That’s unfortunate but the bottom line is it happened and you’ve got to be professional, you’ve got to battle through it and you’ve got to roll on. Like I said, we’ve still got a lot of baseball left to play and stranger things have happened as you know.”

I highly doubt that the GM Kenny Williams will blow everything up and start from scratch this season, even with the Sox’s current status in the AL Central. (They’re currently 9.5 games back of the Twins in the division and eight games below .500.) He may trade off one or two pieces, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t field a competitive roster in 2011.

The bottom line is that players have to step up. After turning in a promising performance last year as a rookie, youngster Gordon Beckham (.201 average) has really struggled this season. Carlos Quentin and A.J. Pirezynski also haven’t hit, and most of Chicago’s arms (Peavy, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, Bobby Jenks) have pitched like dung, too.

This club isn’t playing well right now, but even though changes are likely to be made, that doesn’t mean that Williams will dismantle the roster. When he traded for Peavy last year, he envisioned the former Padre headlining one of the best rotations in baseball. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s only June of Peavy’s first full year with the team. Even if the Sox don’t compete this year, it’s doubtful that Williams starts over heading into 2011.

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Five MLB trades that don’t need to happen

I get it – baseball trades are fun. They’re fun to speculate about, they’re fun to debate and they’re fun to analyze. But just because a club needs a bat, an arm or is just looking to shrink salary, doesn’t mean that a trade needs to happen.

I’ve compiled a list of five trade rumors and where they originated. I then discuss why each of them makes sense, but why they also don’t necessarily need to happen.

Rumor #1: The Red Sox will trade for Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Why it makes sense: Boston is growing impatient waiting for Jed Lowrie to recover from a wrist injury that has held him out since mid-April. They’re also tired of watching Julio Lugo (who is equally bad offensively as he is defensively) make a mockery of the game whenever he trots onto the field. While Nick Green has done well filling in for Lowrie while he’s been hurt and for Lugo while he continues to work on being the most overpaid player in professional sports, the Sox feel they could do better with Wilson. (There’s also a rumor making the rounds that Boston wouldn’t have to give up any top prospects in order to acquire Wilson – they just would need to take on the rest of his salary.)
Why it doesn’t need to happen: Wilson is excellent defensively, but he brings very little to the table in terms of offense. He’s also overpaid himself, as he’ll make $7.25 million this year and $8.4 million in 2010 despite being limited at the dish. While waiting for Lowrie to return to the field has been a slow death for the Sox, he’s cheaper than Wilson and gives the team a better overall player at the position (when he’s healthy, of course). Plus, Green has played well and Boston might be better served holding onto prospects in order to make a more productive move around the trade deadline (i.e. adding another bat in case David Oritz plans on hitting south of .200 all season) than one involving Wilson.

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Will the Padres trade Adrian Gonzalez?

In a recent video blog for ESPN.com, Buster Olney broached the topic of whether or not the Padres will trade young star Adrian Gonzalez and said that if they do, it’ll be during the winter.

Olney says that the Padres have already alienated their fans by letting closer Trevor Hoffman leave via free agency and by trying to deal ace Jake Peavy, so they don’t want to disrupt their loyal followers even more by dangling Gonzo on the trade market. Olney also noted that the Red Sox would be interested in Gonzo if he were available now, although he also stated that the Pads would get more in exchange for the slugger if they wanted until the offseason.

Even the thought of trading away a young bat like Gonzalez would be enough to send most Padre fans to their nearest psych ward. He’s their only slugger in a weak offense and he’s locked up until 2012. Why would San Diego deal a young productive player like Gonzo when they’re trying to rebuild in the midst of an ownership change?

The answer is that if the Padres were able to unload Peavy and Gonzo, they wouldn’t only save money, but they could also completely retool their farm system. Both players are in their prime, they’ve been incredibly productive so far this season and their trade stock has never been hire. Could you imagine the haul San Diego could bring in if they dealt both of those players? Along with picking No. 3 in this year’s MLB draft, the Pads could build a core in their farm system and compete for years to come, rather than struggle in a weak NL West for the next couple of years with Peavy and Gonzo on the roster.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Padres do around the trade deadline when contending clubs are desperate. Maybe Onley is right and they won’t make a move until this offseason, but if the right trade comes along in the next couple months, it might be hard for SD to sit on their hands.

Is the clock ticking for Cubs to acquire Peavy?

If the Cubs are interested in acquiring ace Jake Peavy from the Padres, the clock could be ticking on the opportunity.

Peavy said he would waive his no-trade option to join either the Cubs or Dodgers, but San Diego seemingly doesn’t want to deal the ace to someone in their division, so that would leave Chicago as their best trade partner at this point, unless another team emerges (Milwaukee?) in the upcoming days/weeks.

But according to Daily Herald’s Barry Rozner, if the Padres can’t move Peavy’s contract off their books soon, then they might begin “offloading salaries” and if they do that, then they might as well just keep their top pitcher.

The Cubs and Peavy seem like an excellent match, but as I recently wrote in my latest column, if Chicago is going to trade for anything right now it would probably be another bat. Milton Bradley has been dismal, Aramis Ramirez is on the DL and Derrek Lee has been as inconsistent as ever.

The Cubs’ starters on the other hand, have been solid. Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster have pitched well, Carlos Zambrano just got off the DL and Randy Wells has been a pleasant surprised as a fill-in for injured starters.

So why give up prospects to add Peavy to a rotation that’s already good enough to win? The timing is off for the Cubs, which means in the end they could inevitably pass on the opportunity to trade for Peavy.

Top five landing spots for Jake Peavy

The White Sox thought they had added an ace last week when they worked out a deal with the Padres that would have sent (among others) their top two pitching prospects – Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda – to San Diego in exchange for starting pitcher Jake Peavy. But with his desire to stay in the National League at the forefront of his decision, Peavy exercised his no-trade option and nixed the deal before it was completed.

Now that that deal has been squashed, where will Peavy wind up when the curtain closes on the 2009 baseball season? Or will he even be traded at all?

I’ve ranked the top 5 landing spots for Peavy and why each club will and won’t land the San Diego ace.

1. Milwaukee Brewers
Why they’ll land Peavy: If the Cubs’ offense continues to struggle, then Chicago will more than likely trade for a bat instead of adding another arm to its starting rotation. With the Cubs seemingly focused on their offense, a path could clear for the Brewers to make the Padres an offer for Peavy. Don’t forget that the Brewers surprised a lot of baseball pundits who believed they would never trade top prospect Matt LaPorta for ace CC Sabathia last season, but Milwaukee did just that. So while the Brewers don’t have the young pitching prospects that San Diego might covet, they certainly have a ton of young position talent that they could offer to pull off a deal. Plus, even though they lost Sabathia to free agency in 2009, Peavy would be under contract through the 2013 season, so at least the Brewers wouldn’t have to worry about giving up more top prospects for a pitcher that’ll walk again at the end of the year.
Why they won’t: After almost acquiring the White Sox’s top two pitching prospects, indications are that San Diego is looking for young arms in exchange for Peavy – which Milwaukee simply doesn’t have. The Brewers have a slew of young position talent, but outside of Jeremy Jeffress they don’t have many top arms in their farm system. If the Padres have their heart set on acquiring starting pitching, they’ll have to look elsewhere, because the Brewers just don’t have enough to make a worthwhile offer. Plus, a small market team like Milwaukee might eventually be scared away by the $63 million ($11 million is still owed to him in 2009) that remains on Peavy’s contract.

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