Tag:Jake Peavy
Posted on: December 8, 2008 4:18 pm
 

Towers: Peavy talks won't go past Christmas

LAS VEGAS -- San Diego general manager Kevin Towers described the Jake Peavy trade talks with the Chicago Cubs as "ongoing" during a discussion with several reporters Monday morning, then added a twist: If the Padres don't complete a Peavy deal by Christmas, they'll keep him.

"If we haven't made progress on a deal ... I don't want to go through the holidays with tons of holes and a guy who we don’t' know if we're going to move," Towers said.

As of now, the GM reiterated, he's speaking with exactly one club: The Chicago Cubs.

And in a development that should continue to keep these talks alive, GM Jim Hendry confirmed Monday that the Cubs are not a part of the bankruptcy filed by their current owner, the Tribune Co.

"All I know is I was told over the weekend that the Cubs are completely separate," Hendry said. "We're not worried. With new ownership in the next couple of (months), there have been no restrictions placed on me."

The Cubs are hoping to add a left-handed hitter, probably an outfielder, and also continue talking with the Padres regarding Peavy. They've already re-signed Ryan Dempster this winter, giving them a rotation of Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden and, for now, Jason Marquis.

A third team likely will have to be included if Peavy is to head to the Cubs. Baltimore has been involved in those discussions.

Towers said he and Hendry have talked casually since arriving at the winter meetings and have "no major sitdown (planned) as of yet."

"I know where to find him," Towers said. "And he knows where to find me. He has a couple of things he's working on. Our focus is Peavy."

For this week and next, at least. And if no deal is completed by then, Towers said, the Padres likely will announce that they will keep Peavy.

"I don't think it's fair to our fans or to our ballclub to drag this thing out for the next couple of months," Towers said.

 

Posted on: December 4, 2008 10:01 pm
 

Greene to Cards; Peavy talks on deck

The San Diego Padres continued shrinking their payroll by finalizing a deal Thursday that sent shortstop Khalil Greene to St. Louis in exchange for pitcher Mark Worrell and a player to be named later.

Now, they'll turn their attention back to dealing away ace Jake Peavy: Padres general manager Kevin Towers said he expects to speak with his Chicago Cubs counterpart, Jim Hendry, about Peavy at the winter meetings in Las Vegas next week.

"Things usually always heat up when you can talk face-to-face," Towers said Thursday evening. "I've had ongoing dialog with Jim Hendry, and we plan on getting together in Las Vegas and furthering our conversations.

"We've identified a couple of clubs that could work as third teams (to help facilitate a Peavy deal between the Padres and Cubs).

"After they re-signed (Ryan) Dempster it probably became more difficult, but Jim has assured me he'll do everything he can to make it happen. Maybe it's more complicated now (with Dempster having re-signed)."

The Padres shed $6.5 million, Greene's 2009 salary, by moving him to St. Louis. San Diego had been talking with Baltimore about Greene as well, but the Orioles, according to sources with knowledge of the talks, balked at picking up Greene's entire tab. The Orioles wanted to send pitcher Hayden Penn to the Padres and pay only a portion of Greene's salary.

When the Cardinals swooped in Wednesday and offered to complete a deal in which they would absorb all of the $6.5 million owed Greene for '09, the deal was completed in less than 24 hours.

"We're certainly losing a guy who has been a valuable shortstop to us over the last four years," Towers said. "He's struggled with injuries, other than two years ago, but he was a major contributor to two division-championship clubs."

The Padres attempted to sign Greene to a multi-year deal roughly a year ago and buy out his free agency -- he's eligible to hit the open market following the '09 season -- but could not get a deal done.

In addition to the reliever Worrell, 25, who was 3-3 with a 2.15 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings for Triple-A Memphis last season, the Padres will pick their player to be named later from an agreed upon list of three prospects -- one position player and two pitchers -- and receive him sometime between now and April 1.

Whether Peavy is still around by then remains doubtful. While Towers said that subtracting Greene's salary means that the ace pitcher could still fit into the opening day payroll, that clearly is not Plan A.

Indications are that, if he is to be traded, Peavy is doing what he can to steer that ship toward Chicago.

"It's the one place I don't think they're looking for a lot of concessions on a deal," Towers said of Peavy and his agent, Barry Axelrod. "If it was to the East Coast, they may look for his option to be picked up or the deal to be re-done.

"Chicago's a good ballclub, a good market, and they're in a good division. That seems to be attractive to Jake. Hendry is a good guy to deal with.

"I'm holding out hope we can get something done."

Posted on: November 24, 2008 5:55 pm
 

Furcal decision probably coming next week

In the midst of a wide-ranging flurry of reports Monday, the agent for shortstop Rafael Furcal said that he continues talking with a handful of teams and would like to "narrow it down" this week.

However, Paul Kinzer said that "narrow it down" doesn't necessarily mean sign with a club, something that might not happen until next week.

"We're still talking to three teams," Kinzer said. "We'll try and narrow it down this week."

Oakland and San Francisco remain the most aggressive clubs pursuing Furcal.

Kinzer said there are also "two" other teams who continue to seriously discuss the free-agent shortstop, though he said he promised at least one of them that he would not disclose the club's name.

Kinzer called inaccurate a report from the Dominican newspaper El Caribe that Oakland had offered four years and $48 million.

"Those numbers, those aren't the exact numbers," said Kinzer, who said Furcal has a four-year offer on the table from a team other than Oakland.

It is believed that the Athletics may have a three-year offer to Furcal with a vesting option for a fourth year.

Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs also are believed to have expressed interest. The Braves are on hold, though, as long as trade talks with San Diego regarding Jake Peavy remain at a standstill. Atlanta's pursuit of Furcal is contingent on whether the Braves trade shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Padres as part of a package for Peavy.

Based on where the free agent talks and contract terms currently are, the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom Furcal played for the past three seasons, currently are not serious players for Furcal barring a dramatic shift, according to the agent.

"That's possible, but there's still time," Kinzer said.

As colleague Danny Knobler noted in a blog post earlier Monday, the Dodgers would like to retain Furcal but so far haven't been willing to offer him four years. The Dodgers have been attempting to limit their long-term commitments with several young players on the verge of arbitration.

"We aren't going to make a decision this week," Kinzer continued. "We're going to narrow it down to a couple of teams and see where it goes from there."

Posted on: November 14, 2008 5:31 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2008 6:56 pm
 

Braves pull out of Peavy talks

The Atlanta Braves have pulled out of the Jake Peavy trade talks and will move ahead with other plans general manager Frank Wren told CBSSports.com on Friday.

"We notified the Padres yesterday that based on our last offer not being accepted, we were out of it," Wren said.

The Braves were set to send shortstop Yunel Escobar, pitcher Charlie Morton, reliever Blaine Boyer and Class A outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to the Padres for Peavy, who would have had to waive his no-trade clause.

The Braves felt they were moving toward a deal, according to sources, and on Wednesday believed they were going to obtain the pitcher they had been attempting to acquire since October.

But then something changed, and in Wren's conversations with the Padres it became apparent that a deal was not as close the Braves were thinking. The Atlanta GM declined comment on what explanation the Padres gave him for not accepting the deal.

"It just didn't work," Wren said.

The Braves became perplexed over the past six weeks by the Padres' handling of the negotiations, sources with knowledge of the talks say, and still don't know for sure why San Diego sent such conflicting signals to them this week.

The Braves believe that they were assuming significant risk in the deal not only because of the package of players they were willing to deal, but also because of Peavy's history of injuries.

"We were never that comfortable with the players we were talking about because we're a club that likes to build from within," Wren said. "And as the deal evolved, it was going to impact too many of those players."

Despite periodic trepidation as negotiatons were moving forward, though, the Braves ultimately were willing to part with some prospects they viewed as key -- except for prospect Tommy Hanson.

Even at that, they still feel that their offer for Peavy surpassed any others the Padres have received.

So now the Braves will take their search for two starting pitchers elsewhere. Wren said that they have a couple of trade possibilities working, plus they will dive into the free agent market.

Aside from CC Sabathia, who they view as too expensive, the Braves figure to be involved in anybody and everybody on the free agent market. They've already believed to have touched base with A.J. Burnett, and figure to do the same with Derek Lowe and Ryan Dempster, among others.

"Jake is a player who would have fit into our club very well," Wren said. "But it was a very rich deal, and at the end of the day we just didn't feel like it made sense for our organization to keep talking."

Of course, the offseason is filled with posturing as clubs seek to make deals -- both in the trade and free-agent markets -- and everybody has an agenda and wants their angle out there.

Could this be a case of the Braves doing the same? If the Padres were to call back before Atlanta finishes its pitching plans for the winter, could something still get done?

"We're trying to improve our club," Wren said. "I'm never going to close the door to anything. We have no active discussions going on. We're actively pursuing other things.

"Would I take a call? Yes. But that's not our focus."

The Chicago Cubs, also searching for pitching, are believed to still be interested. However, Towers told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Friday that the club may turn to the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees.

Posted on: November 13, 2008 6:53 pm
 

Braves still waiting on Peavy

Pitcher Jake Peavy's slow, torturous path out of San Diego remained on hold Thursday.

"I don't know if this is gamesmanship or what," Barry Axelrod, Peavy's agent, said Thursday afternoon. "At one point the Braves were hot and heavy, then they were not. And then they're hot again."

Not hot enough, however, for the Padres to agree with Atlanta on what sources with knowledge of the talks say is a four-player package that, as of Wednesday night, was likely to send shortstop Yunel Escobar, starting pitcher Charlie Morton, Class A outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and reliever Blaine Boyer to San Diego.

"I assume if and when they get to the point where they've tentatively agreed on something, they will bring us in," Axelrod said. "They have to. I haven't been updated on any progress."

The Braves had been pushing the Padres for an answer before the free agent market opens on Friday (until then, clubs can negotiate only with their own free agents).

Atlanta needs at least two starting pitchers, and the Braves, who appear to have been the most aggressive of anyone in their pursuit of Peavy, would like to go into the free agent market knowing whether they're looking at signing one starter (in the event they complete a Peavy trade) or two (in the event they don't).

"I'm not surprised it's been difficult," Axelrod said. "It's a very difficult trade to make. Notwithstanding the no-trade rights Jake has. the Padres laid out that it was going to have to be a big package.

"The other team has to assume a hefty contract -- it's a bargain this year, and hefty after that -- and give up what Kevin (Towers, Padres' general manager) deems to be enough. And if it's a starting pitcher, infielder, reliever ... that could deplete somebody's system.

"It's a tough deal to make."

Axelrod spoke by telephone with Peavy earlier Thursday when the pitcher changed planes en route home from Puerto Rico and told him there was nothing to update.

"Most of our conversations have been him asking, 'What's new? Is anything new up?' and me saying, 'No, haven't heard anything, have a good trip, see ya when you get back,'" Axelrod said.

So the Padres have neither accepted the Braves' offer nor asked that Peavy waive the no-trade clause, and the cat-and-mouse game continues.

Meantime, when a deal for Peavy is struck, it almost certainly will require more than a simple "yes" or "no" when it comes to waiving the no-trade clause. Even regarding the initial small list of potential clubs to whom Peavy has said he probably would accept a deal, the pitcher and Axelrod have compiled a checklist of sorts that they would require that includes things such as a housing allowance, guaranteeing his $22 million option for 2013 and travel for his wife and children.

Depending on the acquiring club, Peavy may require more or less from that list. It is believed that his preference is to play in Chicago with the Cubs. Wherever he lands, he is expected to demand a full no-trade clause.

"People keep asking me, 'What do you expect?'" Axelrod said. "I tell them I don't know. I've been doing this 30 years and I've never been through one of these before. I don't have any precedent.

"I had Phil Nevin and he was traded twice with no-trade clauses, and that had to be considered. But I've never had one quite like this."

 

Posted on: November 12, 2008 10:48 pm
 

Braves, Padres near Peavy deal

The Atlanta Braves, full-steam ahead in their pursuit of right-hander Jake Peavy, are offering a four-player package of players, and San Diego is expected to request that Peavy waive his no-trade clause so the deal can be completed, CBSSports.com has learned.

Barry Axelrod, Peavy's agent, said Wednesday evening that he had not spoken with Padres general manager Kevin Towers. And if that conversation takes place on Thursday, it still may be a bit before the Padres and Braves receive an answer -- Peavy is scheduled to fly home from a trip to Puerto Rico and will be traveling much of the day.

Under terms of the deal discussed by the Braves and Padres, San Diego would receive shortstop Yunel Escobar, Class A outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, one of two starting pitchers -- Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes -- and either reliever Blaine Boyer or one of two minor-league left-handers (one of which is believed to be Jeff Locke).

In addition to Escobar and Hernandez, it is believed that the Padres, if the deal is completed, will opt for Morton, a 25-year-old right-hander who was 4-8 with a 6.15 ERA in 16 appearances -- 15 starts -- in 2008. They also are said to be leaning toward Boyer, a 27-year-old right-hander who was one of manager Bobby Cox's chief workhorses last season, finishing tied for ninth in the NL with 76 appearances.

Though Padres scouts like Locke, he's only 21 and not yet ready for the majors. The Padres' bullpen was deeply disappointing last season and, now, with iconic closer Trevor Hoffman apparently having pitched his last game for the Padres, is close to being in complete disarray.

The Braves have been pressuring the Padres for an answer by Friday, when the free agent market opens, because they need at least two starters -- and they want to know whether Peavy will be a Brave before they dive in. They are expected to pursue A.J. Burnett, Ryan Dempster and others -- and sign maybe one if they acquire Peavy, and two if they don't.

However, now the spotlight is close to swinging to Peavy, whose preference is said to be in Chicago with the Cubs. However, internally, the Padres view the Cubs' offer -- believed to include outfielder Felix Pie, infielder Ronny Cedeno and left-hander Sean Marshall, as being nowhere close to that of the Braves.

Whether Peavy agrees to accept a deal to Atlanta could become contingent on any number of things, including Atlanta guaranteeing Peavy's $22 million option for 2013, a full-no trade clause or travel considerations for Peavy's wife and children (the Peavys intend to keep their full-time home in San Diego, according to Axelrod).

Peavy, 27, won the NL Cy Young award following the 2007 season in a unanimous vote. Though a strained elbow shelved him for part of 2008, he still compiled a 2.85 ERA in 27 starts, finishing 10-11 for a Padres club that lost 99 games.

Considered one of the game's few true aces when he's healthy, Peavy has compiled ERAs of 2.88 or lower in four of the past five seasons.

In Atlanta, he would help accomplish Braves GM Frank Wren's goal of getting back to what the club was known for in the 1990s, a strong starting rotation.

Morton was part of that rotation for part of '08, and the Braves had envisioned him remaining there. Atlanta's third-round pick in the 2002 draft, Morton is a "stuff" guy -- his fastball reaches into the upper-90s -- but he also throws a big curve and, over the past two years, has made significant strides in his command.

Atlanta's willingness to include Escobar in the package has been a surprise to some, because the Braves traded a solid shortstop prospect, Elvis Andrus, in the package to Texas for Mark Teixeira in 2007. At that time, Escobar was viewed as Atlanta's shortstop of the future.

Though Escobar hit .288 with a .366 on-base percentage, 10 homers and 60 RBI, he committed 16 errors for the Braves in what many considered a disappointing '08 season. Cox is said to have become disenchanted with him, which no doubt played a part in the fact that the Braves would part with Escobar.

 


Posted on: November 12, 2008 7:07 pm
 

Halo priorities: Teixeira, Sabathia, K-Rod

The Los Angeles Angels have several options in front of them when the free agent market opens on Friday, starting with Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and Francisco Rodriguez -- likely in that order, according to sources with knowledge of the club's thinking.

K-Rod, their record-setting closer, has been conspicuous in that he's seemed almost an afterthought in the club's immediate plans. The Angels, according to sources, have a three-year offer in to him -- believed to be worth in the neighborhood of $42 million -- though they are not expecting him to accept it before Friday, when the free agent market opens.

They're confident that their offer will be competitive with that of the New York Mets, who are expected to aggressively pursue K-Rod. They're also reasonably certain that the market will be slim -- St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit and Tampa Bay are also scrounging for a closer, but nobody from that group appears poised to match the Mets' and Angels' offers.

Essentially, unless the Mets blow the Angels away financially, what it may come down to is something this simple: Does Rodriguez prefer pitching in New York or Anaheim? Given a large ego that needs feeding, despite his tenure with the Angels, New York still is expected to be awfully tempting for him.

The Teixeira situation will be fascinating theater because the Angels, under owner Arte Moreno, work quickly, while Scott Boras, Teixeira's agent, is methodical and does not conclude deals until he's spent time shopping his clients around.

One source with knowledge of the Angels' thinking said Wednesday that he expects the club to come in with a substantial offer for Teixeira on Friday -- and tell Boras that he and his client have a few days to make the decision or the Angels are moving on.

As for Sabathia, the Angels are not expected to exceed six years in their offer -- though if the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and other high-spenders become involved, the bidding for him could get crazy.

One fallback in the event the Angels do not get Sabathia still could be San Diego's Jake Peavy, if the Padres haven't pulled the trigger on a trade. Yes, Peavy prefers to stay in the National League and yes, he has a no-trade clause and would have to approve a deal to the Angels. That last part probably wouldn't be a problem, as Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, says the right-hander intends to make his year-round home in San Diego no matter where he lands.

The Angels did speak with the Padres a couple of weeks ago about Peavy, sources say, and believe they can offer a package of players that would match the talent San Diego could get elsewhere.

The Angels could fill San Diego's desire for a starting pitcher by including Jered Weaver. That still would leave Los Angeles with a rotation whose front four would be John Lackey, Peavy, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders.

They also could satisfy the Padres' demand for a shortstop by dealing Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis or prospect Brandon Wood.

Weaver, Aybar or Izturis and, say, a minor-league prospect would give San Diego players who could help them win now, rather than prospects who need time to develop. However, players who with major-league experience would be more expensive, and the Padres right now appear more interested in saving money while owner John Moores goes through a messy divorce than they do in winning.

The problem, though, is the Angels' and Padres' timetables are at odds this winter. While the Angels preferred to wait and see how the Teixeira and Sabathia talks go before fully diving into the Peavy talks, the Padres' preference is to make the best deal they can for Peavy soon -- preferably, before the free agent market opens for business on Friday.

However it plays out over the next few weeks, the Angels are starting from a pretty good place because they've got both money and a solid pool of young talent.

Posted on: November 10, 2008 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2008 5:43 pm
 

Trade could knock Peavy out of WBC

If the San Diego Padres trade ace right-hander Jake Peavy, as they are expected to do as early as this week, it could mean the end of the ace's availability for Team USA in next spring's World Baseball Classic.

Peavy has filed the necessary paperwork to play, according to Barry Axelrod, his agent. But Axelrod, who opposed the right-hander's participation in the '06 WBC for protective reasons, indicated that he again will try to talk Peavy out of playing -- especially if he's traded. Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs remain the front-runners to acquire him, according to multiple sources.

"If I'm his new team, I'd say, 'You know, we kind of need you in camp with us,'" Axelrod said.

Peavy pitched for Team USA in 2006 and absolutely loved the whole thing -- the competition, the patriotism, the camaraderie with some of the game's best players. He developed good friendships with Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter, among others.

But he also battled elbow tendinitis as the '06 regular season wore on and told me at the time that he thought the extra WBC work was the major contributing factor. His 4.09 ERA that summer was the second-worst of his career over six full major-league seasons.

"I was strongly opposed to him participating last time for that very reason," Axelrod said. "I thought it might make for a very long season. ... Jake had a tough time physically that season, as did others."

If he participates, Peavy would have to report to spring training on Feb. 14 -- a week before other, non-WBC-playing players -- and then he would report to the WBC training camp on March 1 and not return to his team -- the Padres or someone else -- until March 24 at the earlier.

"That's 3 1/2 weeks away from camp, and then 10 days to get ready for opening day," Axelrod said. "I think it's a rougher schedule than last time."

So far, Peavy has been intent on making himself available for the WBC.

"When I tried to make the case (against), he wouldn't let me get the sentence out of my mouth," Axelrod said. "He said it was one of his great life experiences, having 'USA' across his chest. I told him, 'I know what you think, but if you ask me. ...'"

Axelrod, though, said he and Peavy last spoke about the WBC before the trade talks started that appear to have him earmarked somewhere other than San Diego for 2009 and that they have not revisited the subject since.

"That's Jake's call," Axelrod said. "I don't know where his head would be on that. He may say, 'Hey, if I'm with a new team, I owe it to them to be there.' Or he may say, 'It's a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I want to be involved.'"

Likes: It's on to the third round of the Michigan high school playoffs for the Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central football team, who will host Manchester on Friday evening at Navarre Field. The Falcons knocked off Madison Heights Bishop Foley in a 34-29 thriller on Friday and were rewarded with a third home playoff game. Congratulations to Coach Jack Giarmo and the boys, and go get 'em Friday. ... Just finished a fabulous book, The Nightingale's Song, by Robert Timberg. The author traces the lives of five Naval Academy grads -- John McCain, Oliver North, Robert McFarlane, James Webb and John Poindexter -- weaving the threads together through the Navy years, Vietnam and on through the Reagan Administration, studying how their background at the Academy helped set the stage for their lives. Fabulous work by Timberg -- whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.

Dislikes: More federal money for insurance giant AIG even after their executives held a retreat here after they received a $70 million bailout from the government in September. The excess makes you sick. They should deduct the cost of the resort retreat from the bailout, at the very least.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Come gather 'round people
"Wherever you roam
"And admit that the waters
"Around you have grown
"And accept it that soon
"You'll be drenched to the bone.
"If your time to you
"Is worth savin'
"Then you better start swimmin'
"Or you'll sink like a stone
"For the times they are a-changin'"

-- Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin'


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com