Monday, December 8, 2008

Clarifying my Peavy "obsession"

Just to clarify, I'd love to have Jake Peavy on the a cost. Not ANY cost. A cost that is better for us than them.

I merely thought that Peavy would be a great addition to the rotation, but not as a de facto #1 pitcher. I have also maintained that the Yanks should just sit back and wait for the market to come their way. The Braves are seemingly out of the equation. The Cubs appear to be the leader but all indications are that it's going to require a 3rd team to get that done. The Cardinals are out, too. Perhaps after dealing Khalil Greene and not re-signing Hoffman (as I wondered aloud here) the Padres don't need to shed Peavy's salary.

My premise consists of this: The Padres have gone so far out on the ledge with Peavy that it'd be nearly impossible to turn back with him still on the team. The team needs to bring payroll WAY down. Therefore, at some point, they will NEED to deal Peavy, even if it's for $0.75 on the dollar (or worse). And with the economy cratering, the Yanks remain one of the very few teams that could absorb Peavy's contract...a contract that, this summer, looked better than it does now. Peavy's contract averages around $15m a year for the next four years or so.

So let me ask you this: If you could get Peavy (especially after getting Sabathia, a big leap of faith) for a few AAAA type players and one younger prospect with upside, wouldn't that make sense to help fill out a rotation? Remember, Peavy's contract is an albatross at this point for other teams considering trading for him. The higher the contract being absorbed (in total dollars and years), the less in return the trading team can expect to receive.

My fears and concerns about Peavy have been documented here. To refresh:

  • Peavy faced only 69 batters in innings 7-9
  • With only 27 games started, Peavy averaged facing 2.56 batters after the 6th inning
  • Batters hit .290 against him later in games
  • Peavy faced only 38 batters after throwing his 105th pitch; Averaged 106 pitches per game in 2008 (103 PC/game for a career).
  • Peavy's away ERA in 2008 was 4.28; .258 Batting Average Against (BAA)
  • Peavy's home ERA in 2008 was 1.75; .205 BAA
  • Peavy's almost a neutral GB/FB pitcher, with a 1.11 GB:FB ratio in 2008, in line with career numbers. The bigger Petco keeps the flyballs within the fences for long outs.
  • K-rate of 8.60 lowest since 2003, down from 9.67 in 2007. As a result, his K/BB rate of 2.81 was also a low since 2003 and down from 3.53 last year.

    My thought on Peavy-to-the-Yanks remains this: If the Yanks can dictate their price (ie: not Hughes), then go for it.

Would the ultimate "cost" for Peavy be any worse than Ben Sheets? Both have been exclusively NL pitchers, never pitching in the East. Both have had injury problems, though Sheets' history is longer and obvious. Peavy has won a Cy Young. Sheets would cost draft picks as compensation and would likely require at least a 3 year committment; Peavy a 4 year. Peavy would cost more developed young players versus draft picks.

Peavy would be "cheaper" than Burnett in total dollars and likely years (4 vs. 5). But Burnett's proven himself in the AL East and that means something to me.

Don't get me started on Derek Lowe; adding a 37 year old for 3 or 4 years is absurd. I'd rather take 5 years of Burnett than 3-4 of Lowe, since they seem to be both asking for the moon in AAV salary.

But what if Peavy was the 2nd or 3rd pitcher the Yanks added this off-season? That'd be a nice rotation, no? Again, only if the cost was in the Yanks favor.

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