Friday, October 17, 2008

Leverage, behold thy name is NTC

So my favorite non-free agent --Jake Peavy-- has laid out his five NL landing places. Nice choices, if I say so myself. Of course, by limiting himself to just the NL and only these five, he's using all the leverage afforded to him via his NTC. Which is well with his contractual right.

San Diego pitcher Jake Peavy, the Cy Young Award winner currently being dangled in trade talks, initially indicated to the Padres that he would prefer a deal to one of five teams -- Atlanta, St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros.
Naturally the Padres front office will explore some other options, presumably some in the AL. Otherwise, these five teams have little incentive to hand over the gems of their farm systems. It seems that Atlanta has the best array of high minor league talent to offer the Pads but appears to be reluctant to do so. I'd also guess that if LAD wanted to dangle Kemp, Dewitt and another arm or two, it could get done, but will LA want to do that? Especially if they are already going to make a serious play on CC or Manny. Can they take on $20m for Manny plus Peavy's deal? The Cubbies dealt some young talent to land Harden; do they have much left to hand to San Diego for Peavy? Does their changing ownership scuttle taking on another fairly sizable contract?

So that leaves San Diego exploring the AL teams 1) who can afford to take on the contract, 2) deliver the bounty that the Padres want in return and 3) who are contenders that would appeal to Peavy. To me, that's Tampa (they have the talent and should have some loot to spend), NY, Boston, LAA, maybe Detroit. Who am I missing? Could Cleveland be a dark horse? Chicago?

If I were the Yanks, I'd send guys like Moose, Pettitte (yes, they are both free agents, but let's assume they both want to return and will, at least for the sake of this exercise) on a recruiting trip. Moose, from a small town in PA, and Pettitte, from Houston, can attest to how the Big Bad City can be a friend, not a foe. Of course, they can't do this unless there's some window of negotiation or something for fear of tampering. And if the team couldn't have these guys do the talking, I'd hope Cashman would tell Towers to describe their situations to Peavy to let him know guys from small towns have come to NY and been beloved. Or at least be-liked.
Peavy, 27, has a full no-trade clause, and he has not given San Diego any indication that he would accept a deal to the Yankees or any other American League team. But the Padres are in the process of gauging interest from those clubs, as well -- and if they were to identify an offer that they find acceptable, perhaps for a couple of pitchers and a center fielder, officials with other teams sense that San Diego would move quickly to complete a deal.
The Yanks need to go to Towers with an aggressive offer to show they mean business and then hope Peavy isn't a shrinking violet.

Of course, I said much the same when the Yanks got Javy Vazquez. I told my Dad how great this guy is gonna be, how he was an emerging stud in Montreal and with his big K rates, he'd thrive in NY. Um, not so much. History, schmistory.

Meh, I still want Peavy!


Fred Trigger said...

RE: Vasquez

As a sox fan, I thought the sox were screwed when the yankees got him as well. I thought they were getting their version of Pedro. Thankfully it didnt work out (at least I'm thankful).

tHeMARksMiTh said...

I want him, too. However, as you stated, the Braves seem resigned to not offer their best talent. I guess we'll see.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Just saw this to make your inner turmoil as bad as mine.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

themarksmith: Yeah, too bad it's collusion to try to woo a signed player.

Fred: How wrong were we? He became a serviceable starter for the WhiteSox but to me, he never repeated his MTL brilliance. And remember how badly the Yanks and Sox fought for Contreras and even Pavano. Sometime you lose when you think you win. (lame chinese cookie fortune)

Fred Trigger said...

I think the yankees winning the Contreras sweepstakes lead to the infamous "evil empire" quote. Javy definately was serviceable, but he was ridonkulous with MTL. I dont remember where I saw it (baseball prospectus maybe) but someone said he had the most dissapointing prime of any pitcher he could remember.