According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are the frontrunners to land Jake Peavy. I find this amazing, as the Cubs don’t have much left in their farm system. They traded most of it to the A’s in the Rich Harden trade. Apparently, that is fine with the Padres, however, as they are still willing to deal with the Cubs. Josh Vitters is the Cubs unquestioned top prospect, but the Pads have two top notch young third basemen on their team. They could trade for Vitters and then turn around and deal Kevin Kouzmanoff. I previously stated that Kevin Kouzmanoff for Brett Anderson would make sense. They could pull off that trade to help out their pitching while improving third base. Then, instead of moving Chase Headly to third base they could keep him in left field and slot Vitters in at third. You’d also think that one of the Cubs good young relievers would have to be included. If the Cubs manage to resign Kerry Wood, then Carlos Marmol could be in play. Marmol and Heath Bell would make a nice 8th-9th inning combination for at least the next 4 years. Or, the Padres could decide to opt for Jeff Samardzija instead. They might view him as a better option since he could start or relieve. The final pieces could be Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, and Rich Hill. Marshall was solid in his limited opportunities last year, and he won’t be needed if Dempster is resigned. The latter two have seen huge drops in value but both still have imense potential. They make sense as two high-risk high-reward players to round out the deal. I think Hill would flourish without dealing with the pressure of Chicago. Same for Pie. So the final offer would be Josh Vitters, Carlos Marmol/Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, and Rich Hill for Jake Peavy. I’m not sure I would do it if I was the Padres, but with the Braves not offering Tommy Hanson, it might be the only option. However, this deal would give the Cubs less flexibility when it comes to free agents. They’d still want Ryan Dempster back even if they do aquire Peavy, but they would really need Kerry Wood if they’re losing one of Carlos Marmol and Jeff Samardzija. On top of all that, they would have to settle for a cheap right fielder instead of a better one like Bobby Abreu. However, when you look at the kind of impact a Peavy trade has, it doesn’t matter much; you’re going to improve your team. Hopefully they will me able to win it all next year and finally make their fans proud.
I was thinking about possible trade targets for the A’s, and I came up with one that makes a lot of sense. Brett Anderson for Kevin Kouzmanoff. The A’s have one of if not the best minor league system in the MLB. Pitching is the best part about the surplus. Plus, Billy Beane can find pitching anywhere. So, how about trading a good pitching prospect for a third baseman under team control with some serious pop and good defense. I love the trade for both teams. The Padres would miss Kouz, but Chase Headly could move back to his natural position and take over the job. Some would say that the A’s would be overpaying because of Kouzmanoff’s mere .290 OBP. But look at the needs. With all of the great yet blocked starting pitching of the A’s, and without anything at third base, it just makes sense. Then they could go sign Rafael Furcal and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them compete. The Padres are in for a long rebuilding process, and Anderson could develope into a solid #3 right behind Jake Peavy and Chris Young. This could be a good trade for both teams.
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They San Diego Padres didn’t fare nearly as well as they did when they got a game away from their third straight playoff appearance in 2007. This year, they’re dead last in their division and in the running for the worst record in the MLB. (Which may be a good thing because of Stephen Strasburg) They are likely to cut payroll in ’09 to the 50 million range. If they pick up Brian Giles option and make no free agent signings, then they would have a payroll of about 46 million. Maybe if they can get Trevor Hoffman to take a discount and sign for around 5 million, they could get him in there are have a payroll around 50. I think it is possible they could sign a free agent or two and have a payroll around 75 million and could possibly compete. I don’t think they are 2 or 3 players away from contending, however. It makes more sense to rebuild. If they want to make some big splashes, they could trade Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez. Peavy is very unlikely because he is under contract through 2012 with an option for 2013. Gonzalez, however, could be dealt. He is signed through 2010 with an option for 2011. Only three years. Many teams are interested in first basemen, but there is a bleak market past Mark Teixera and Jason Giambi. Maybe trade Gonzalez to the Yankees for a package aroung Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Kevin Kouzmanoff could also be dealt so they can move Chase Headly back to his natural position: third base. Khalil Greene could be traded as well, although it would be a huge sell low move. Only trade him if you get 75% of full value. They have nothing to lose by playing Greene in ’09 to raise his value. This is a team that is either going to be very quiet by not making many moves, or very loud by trading Gonzalez, Greene, and Kouzmanoff this offseason.