Towers said Monday he's more concerned with quality than quantity, noting that to sell a Peavy trade to San Diego's beleaguered baseball fans, a return of two or three high-end players would trump receiving a batch of five or six marginal players.
"Looking at the Mark Teixeira deal, the Dan Haren deal, leaves you with a good idea of what the elite players have brought back in the last 12 months," Towers said. "Jake will be controlled (contractually) for a significant portion of his prime."
The Angels acquired Teixeira from Atlanta in late July for first baseman Casey Kotchman and a pitching prospect.
The difference in those deals was that Teixeira was a half-season rental for the Angels, while the Diamondbacks pulled the Haren trade during the winter.
Towers said he played 24 holes of golf with Cubs GM Jim Hendry on Sunday, though he quipped that there was "more ball finding than fact finding for me. He was hitting the greens. I was trying to find my ball."
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, citing tampering rules, declined to talk specifically about Peavy, saying only that he's "talked to a lot of clubs in a genuine way."
Regarding trading a player within the division, Colletti did say it was a more difficult proposition.
"Sure it is," Colletti said. "Not just in the National League West. You're going to see that player play a lot. You're going to have to make sure you win that deal, so to speak."
Towers, though, said he's not concerned with extracting an intra-division premium from another NL West club so much as he simply wants a good return on Peavy, period.
"I'm not opposed to it," Towers said of dealing with the Dodgers. "To me, it's all about being happy with what you get back. The Dodgers have a lot of good players. Do we want to see him five or six times a year, like (San Francisco's Tim) Lincecum? No. But we need to get better."
Exactly how the Padres suddenly have sunk to these depths so quickly remains something to behold.
"We've had lot of reaction to it, and what's more important is Jake's reaction," Axelrod said late Monday afternoon. "I'm trying to be the muse, sit there and bounce ideas back and forth with him, moderate things.
"As with any player when he hears a team may no longer need or want his services, there's a gut reaction, and it's mostly negative. Jake and I, we have empathy with what's going on with the Padres -- not only with the economy in general, but the difficult year on the field and the circumstances regarding Mr. and Mrs. Moores.
"It's tough circumstances in any business, no matter what. Eleven months ago, we were in Camelot. It was a groundbreaking deal from the Padres' point of view, what they were willing to do financially and contract length-wise for the player.
"Jake is settling in here, announcing it would be his home. He bought a house here. Moved his family here."
Peavy could not be reached for comment Monday. But in mid-August, during a discussion on the club's decline and some of the inexplicable moves made by the front office, Peavy told me, "I certainly think we need to look at the way we see things. Evaluating whether or not we're going in the right direction."
Camelot ended for the Moores' after more than 44 years of marriage in February, when Becky filed for divorce.
"Hopefully, they get everything worked out," Commissioner Bud Selig said earlier this month during a discussion before one of the World Series games.