“At this point in time, I think it’s highly unlikely that [Peavy’s] somebody that will be moved this year,” said Padres general manager Kevin Towers. “A lot of it is just timing on the rehab and how long it’s going to take before he’s back performing and pitching in ballgames.”
If Peavy returns to the rotation, it would not be until late August, well past the July 31 trade deadline, making it highly likely that the southpaw and his current $15 million contract will be with the team in 2010. This puts further strain on the club looking to shed an extra $5 million in salary to hit the $40 million payroll mark this year.
“It’s nice to have that type of guy at the top of your rotation; it just limits what we’re able to do around him,” Towers said. “We’ll have to have good young players come up and perform well.”
Peavy, 28, is under contract with the Padres until 2013. He is due to make $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012 and has a $22 million option in 2013, with a $4 million buy-out–making a quick deal in the best financial interests of the team.
“Where our payroll is at right now, it’s something we need to look at,” Towers said.
During the off-season, there was a considerable market for Peavy, but no deal was cut. Towers said that at that time, the Padres had dialogue with the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. On May 22, the Padres agreed to a trade to send Peavy to the Chicago White Sox for four players, but Peavy nixed the deal, exercising the no-trade clause in his contract.
“It’s certainly frustrating, but we gave it to him,” Towers said of the clause. “Things change–I’m sure at the time we put the no-trade provision in there, we thought that it was highly doubtful that we’d ever even entertain moving him.” The Chicago Tribune had reported that left-handers Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda were part of the deal.
“With us, we’ve always said if we’re moving Jake, we really want it to be the best baseball deal we can do,” Towers said. “We’re hoping it can be a deal that can plug a few different holes.”
Peavy strained his tibialis posterior tendon in his left ankle running the bases against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 8. The Padres placed him on the disabled list five days later, and Peavy has been in a walking cast since June 15. In 13 starts prior to the injury, Peavy was 6-6, with a 3.97 ERA and 92 strikeouts.
Peavy met with doctors on June 30 as an evaluation at the expected midpoint of his time in the walking cast. Padres manager Bud Black said if Peavy continues to progress, the boot should come off sometime in the middle of July. Whether Peavy pitches again in 2009 is still up in the air.
“Hopefully by immobilizing him in the walking cast, we can avoid having to have any type of surgery,” Towers said, “because any surgical procedure means he’s probably out for the year.”
Either way, when it comes to dealing Peavy, the Padres are seemingly out of luck for another campaign.