White Sox acquire Peavy from Padres in exchange for four pitchers

The White Sox traded for Jake Peavy again, only this time the deal actually went through as the former San Diego starter agreed to waive his no-trade clause. Chicago will be on the hook for all of Peavy’s contract, which means they’ll pay him $56 million by the end of 2012 and even more after that if they agree to pay his club option in 2013.

In exchange for their one-time ace, the Padres acquired left-handed pitchers Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard, as well as right-handers Dexter Carter and Adam Russell. It’s essentially the same deal that the two teams agreed to in May, although this time the Sox included Richard, who wasn’t in the original offer.

According to Peavy’s agent Barry Axelrod, the ace signed off on the trade because there was no guarantee that the Cubs or Dodgers (his preferred teams) would have made a move for him in the offseason.

This move is surprising on the part of the White Sox seeing as how Peavy probably won’t pitch again the rest of the season, yet Chicago is still on the hook for all of his salary. Then again, with Peavy under contract through 2012 (and possibly 2013), GM Kenny Williams clearly made this move for the future (albeit at the risk of surrendering a massive amount of pitching depth).

You knew Williams wasn’t going to stand pat and let the deadline go by without making a move and he certainly one-upped the division rival Detroit, who acquired starter Jarrod Washburn today. He has always been a bit of a gambler and if Peavy returns to full health and makes the Sox a winner (whether that means a World Series winner or otherwise), maybe we’ll look back on this trade and commend Williams for making such a bold move.

That said, this was a massive risk by Williams. For starters, there’s only about a 50-50 chance that Peavy will pitch again this season. So not only is there a decent possibility that the Sox won’t get any use out of him this season, but they also paid a higher price for him now then they did when the deal didn’t go through in May because they included Richard.

Even though they gave up their ace and a popular player, San Diego and their fans have to be happy with the haul they got from Chicago. It’s not like the Padres had to sweetener their offer in order to get Richard too; they’re still giving up the same piece (Peavy) to acquire more than they would have in May.

Well done, Kevin Towers.

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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.

Will the Brewers pull off a trade for Peavy?

Last season, the Brewers pulled off the biggest trade of the year in sending top prospect Matt LaPorta to the Indians in exchange for ace CC Sabathia. The trade catapulted Milwaukee into the postseason, even though it eventually led to them being bounced by the Phillies in the NLDS.

Fast forward to this season where the Brewers are currently in a first place tie with the Cardinals and at least one Milwaukee columnist thinks that the Brew Crew could once again swing a deal for a stud pitcher to lead them back into the postseason.

Whether the Brewers could come up with the players it would take to do such a deal is debatable. General manager Doug Melvin has said he has no inclination to trade his top two prospects, third baseman Mat Gamel and shortstop Alcides Escobar.

But keep in mind this regime has shown it will think out of the box. The Brewers did so when they traded top prospect Matt LaPorta and others for Sabathia, shocking the rest of the baseball world.
This is a team that fired manager Ned Yost with 12 games to go last season over fears he was making the team too tight and a team that offered Sabathia $100 million to stay before the Yankees blew that offer out of the water.

After watching the bench struggle for more than a month this season, a series of moves was made, signing veteran Frank Catalanotto to a minor-league deal, summoning Gamel to the majors and trading for San Diego outfielder Jody Gerut. More proactive moves from a proactive regime.

Rest assured that internal discussions about Peavy already have been held in the Brewers’ offices. You can bet closer Trevor Hoffman has told his former teammate about the close-knit clubhouse. Word has it that Ryan Braun and Peavy even exchange e-mails.

Perhaps the Brewers’ biggest competition for Peavy (presuming of course that Milwaukee is seriously interested in the San Diego starter) will be the Cubs, who were hot after Peavy this offseason before eventually walking away from negotiations. Rich Harden was just placed on the disabled list with back problems and ace Carlos Zambrano has already paid a visit to the DL once this year.

But the problem with assuming the Cubs are still interested in Peavy is that they desperately need a bat more than another arm. This is a club marred in a seven game losing streak in which they’ve averaged less than 1.5 runs per game in that span. Plus, truth be told, the Cubs’ pitching staff has been pretty good as is, getting quality outings from Ted Lilly (who has been their most reliable starter so far), Ryan Dempster and even Randy Wells, who has been solid filling in for injured starters. Would the Cubs be more inclined to deal for another pitcher rather than a much-needed bat? It’s possible, but unlikely.

That said, the Brewers could have a clear path to Peavy if they could put a decent trade package together on their end. With their lineup, Peavy could possibly give Milwaukee a significant edge over the Cards and Cubs in the NL Central.

Peavy declines trade deal to White Sox

It looks like the White Sox won’t be getting the pitching help they need after all.

The White Sox were able to strike a deal with the Padres for ace Jake Peavy, but Peavy exercised his no-trade clause to officially veto the deal before it could be completed. Peavy cited his desire to remain in San Diego as the main reason he nixed the trade, but many believe he doesn’t want to leave the National League either.

The conspiracy theorist in me questions whether or not this was a move to wake up the Cubs, who were hot after Peavy in the offseason but eventually walked away from the negotiation table with the Padres. Did San Diego GM Kevin Towers pursue a deal with the White Sox in an attempt to get the Cubs back into trade negotiations?

Think about it, if Towers knew that Peavy would never agree to join an American League team, then he could pursue a deal with the White Sox to piss Cub fans off and maybe get GM Jim Hendry to come back to the negotiation table. The trade attempt would also show the Cubs that Peavy is still available.

Again, this is just speculation on my part and my attempt to think outside of the box. The deal with the Sox could have very well been legit and had absolutely nothing to do with the Cubs. But if Towers has his eye on a prospect or two in the Cubs’ farm system, wouldn’t it be sly of him to use the White Sox as patsies to get the Cubs back into negotiations?

And isn’t it ironic that the day before Peavy rejects a trade to join the White Sox, the Cubs are in town for a three game set with the Padres?

Peavy may not approve deal to White Sox – what about Cubs?

According to a report by ESPN.com, Jake Peavy’s agent has expressed doubt that his client will agree to waive his no-trade clause in order for the Padres to complete a deal with the White Sox. Apparently the two teams have already agreed on a trade, but Peavy signing off on the deal is the final step.

The issue apparently is that Peavy wants to stay in the National League, where he’s played his entire career. It’s obviously much easier to face NL hitting than it is to go to the AL, where they DH the pitcher. It makes sense that he wants to give himself the best opportunity to succeed.

If this trade doesn’t go down, I wouldn’t fall asleep on the Cubs. They seemed hell bent on trading for Peavy in the offseason, but they eventually walked away. If Peavy doesn’t sign off on his no-trade clause in order to join the White Sox, will it wake up the other team in Chicago?

Despite battling a slew of injuries, the Cubs remain only three games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Ace Carlos Zambrano is expected to come off the DL on Friday and start against the Padres (ironically), but adding Peavy to a rotation that already features Big Z, Rich Harden and Ryan Dempster would be killer.

The question is – do the Cubs have enough prospects to make a deal for Peavy? There probably isn’t a chance in hell they’d be willing to give up a young hitting prospect like Josh Vitters, but what about pitchers Jeff Samardzija and/or Andrew Cashner?

Nothing at this point suggests that the Cubs will try and re-enter trade talks with the Padres for Peavy, but it could be something to keep an eye on.

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