So what could awaken my interest in baseball after the Braves season that could have been, the Falcons having a winning record, and the Hawks season about the start? No, not the Red Sox losing to the Rays (though that was awesome! How great was it to hear this quote, "And the Boston season rides on pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie"? The guy batted .207 in the playoffs, now allegedly had a hurt wrist, and the Red Sox season rested on his shoulders? Cracked me up.) No, the thing that peaked my interest was off season rumors. Where you have no clue what you're team might end up doing... especially with the Braves and how they keep everything quiet.
So the new and exciting rumor is that we're the leading candidate to trade for Jake Peavy. He's only 27, he's got a Cy Young award, and he grew up a Braves fan in Alabama... what's not to like?
Well several people have answered that question. Some people are worried that Peavy's jerky motion is a recipe for a major arm injury. Also that the Padres willingness to deal their ace, who has a reasonable contract ($11 million in 2009, $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011, $17 million in 2012 and a $22 million option ($4 million buyout) for 2013), is a little disconcerting. Additionally, many people don't want to have to give up Tommy Hanson, our top pitching prospect, in the trade. Hanson is a 22 year old fireballer with the mentality of a bulldog... whatever that means, who just won the Arizona Fall League player of the week by winning both his starts while allowing only one hit over 6.2 innings pitched. In his most recent start last Saturday, October 18, Hanson struck out eight of the first nine hitters.
I say go for Peavy. Several of our key players (Chipper, Smoltz, Glavine) are getting old, and won't have too many more productive seasons. Peavy has avoided any major injury so far with his motion, so what's to say that he won't continue that trend. Many people think Sabathia's arms should have fallen off years ago... some people just defy the trends. If we can keep Hanson and still trade for Peavy, great. But I think several teams learned last year that a proven star is much more valuable than a couple of potential stars. The Yankees missed out on Johan Santana because they were unwilling to part with Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Here's their stats for last season respectively: 0-4 6.62 era in 8 starts and 0-4 with a 8.17 era in 9 starts. Boston missed out because they didn't want to trade their prospects, and they certainly could have used another starter in the playoffs.
Now I know that Hanson won't necessarily turn out as a bust, and Hughes and Kennedy might still blossom, but it shows the danger of valuing prospects over a certified ace. But I'm not convinced the Padres will trade Peavy without a deal that blows them away. They can still control him for four seasons with a reasonable salary so they're not just going to give him away. And I don't think the Braves are going to sell the farm for him.
So I think this is just an interesting rumor for bloggers to bat around for a month or so before it dies off and the Braves make some other trade or signing that no one saw coming. It's pretty much their MO at this point. I say Hudson convinces Mulder to sign with the Braves for cheap.