We are looking to get better.
It's really that simple. We're not trying to trade certain players, and we're certainly not looking to move players just to move them. As with any off-season or trading deadline, we're assessing the market value for our players to see whether or not that value surpasses their value to the Padres. If you have something you value at one million dollars, it would be foolish to refuse to consider selling it for twenty million dollars. On the flip side, it would also be foolish to sell it for anything less than one million. The thing that makes the market work is that each player has a different value to virtually every Club.
Furthermore, no one player makes a great team. This has been proven time and time again in baseball. We don't need to look any further than the 2008 Padres that went 63-99 with Jake Peavy, but I will.
There have been a number of occasions in recent memory where teams have traded or lost one of their best players only to be as good or better... immediately:
- The 2008 Indians were 37-51 when they traded CC Sabathia, and then went 43-30.
- The 2007 Twins finished 79-83, traded Johan Santana and let Torii Hunter leave in free agency, and then went 88-75 in 2008.
- The 2003 Rangers finished 71-91, traded Alex Rodriguez, and then went 89-73 in 2004.
- The 1996 Giants finished 68-94, traded Matt Williams, and then went 90-72 in 1997.
There are many, many more, but here is my favorite string:
- The 1998 Mariners traded Randy Johnson in the middle of a 76-85 season.
- In 1999 the Mariners finished 79-83 without the Big Unit.
- After 1999, the Mariners traded Ken Griffey, Jr and then went 91-71 in 2000.
- After 2000, the Mariners lost Alex Rodriguez to free agency and went 116-46 in 2001.
That's three Hall-of-Famers in three successive seasons, and the Mariners improved each time. Baseball is a crazy game.This, of course, doesn't mean that trading a star player ensures success. What it does show, however, is that trading a star player can buoy a team. That is what we're exploring.
As far as Jake's particular situation, we have him under contract for the next four years with an option for a fifth year. Our task, then, is to determine whether what we would receive in exchange for him would outweigh the benefits of having him for those five years (presumably some player(s) we would get in return could be of service for more than five years, so that needs to be factored in as well). Make no mistake, however - we place tremendous value on Jake's presence here. That is why any offers for him in past years and every day up until this writing have been rejected.
Come to think of it, though, it's really not about Jake's particular situation at all. There was a very good comment in my last post asking about our process as it pertains to Brian Giles. Why would we be unwilling to trade him before the deadline, possibly willing to after the deadline, and then plan on picking up his option? The answer is rather straightforward - it all depends on the return. The return wasn't sufficient in any deal before the deadline, but was sufficient in the proposed deal after the dealine.
In short, we are charged with fielding the best possible team in both the short and long terms. Believe me, we wish we could put together a dynamic team comprised of players who would remain as Padres for the duration of their careers. On a personal level, we don't enjoy trading players. I don't know any executive who does. However, that just isn't the reality of today's game. Because of that fact, the best organizations out there can't really believe in the concept of "untouchable", because one can lose great opportunities with such blinders.
So, to answer the most basic question: are we going to trade Jake Peavy? We'll see if someone offers us a compelling deal that makes us better.