Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Trading Peavy

Since I have been in Arizona all week, I haven't read the papers or listened to the radio, so I don't know what has been written or what has been said. What I do know, though, is what actually is happening.

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.

96 comments:

Sean Hogan said...

I'm not a Padres fan, but I don't see how trading a guy like Peavy will help your team. I don't see why you would want to give up a guy who is pretty much a sure thing for a bunch of prospects who will have to hit their absolute ceilings to become anywhere near as valuable as Peavy already is.

Alex said...

Pads fans should take solace in the fact that if Peavy is in fact traded it would probably have to be an unprecedented deal because I can cite no trade ever where a player of Peavy's caliber was traded while still having 5 years of control left. CC, Unit, and Griffey all were in the final years of their deals.

The closest comp I can come up with is the Dan Haren trade, but Haren only had 3 years left on his contract (not 5) and I also wouldn't quite put Haren, as great as he is, in Peavy's caliber. Some people might point to the A-Rod trade, but at the time A-Rod's contract was considered seriously bloated and that contract was viewed as a major crutch, hence TEX had to pick up a large portion. Peavy's contract isn't cheap, but 5 years/78 million seems very reasonable when guys like Zito, Johan, and CC (presumably) all got well over 100 million dollar contracts. CC could get 7 years/150 million if a team is desperate enough. Hell, AJ Burnett could very well cost 5 years/78 million

A Jake Peavy trade (5 years of possibly the best pitcher in baseball???) would no doubt yield the greatest return of prospects in baseball history, assuming the Pads front office handles it correctly ;)

Amit said...

I'm pretty sure the Padres will want a similar package to that of which the A's received for Dan Haren - 6 prospects, some who are top prospects and the others who have a good shot at being major league regulars. However, if I'm a GM willing to give that much up for Peavy, I'm pretty sure Matt Cain could be had for the same package. While Peavy is an established #1 starter, Matt Cain still has a chance to be a #1 and comes with a much lower salary.

Paul DePodesta said...

sean,

What if it isn't all prospects? What if we get seven players who are all just a tick below Peavy? What if we got someone else's entire 25-man roster?

The point is that we don't know what we would get, so we can't possibly say that it won't make us better.

Paul DePodesta said...

alex,

Thanks for the pressure.

Quade said...

Mr. DePodesta,

as a die-hard Dodger fan, I'm wondering what you would ask of the Dodgers if they were willing to work a deal for Peavy (arguably, one of the best pitchers right now, and probably for quite some time)?

In your mind, what would be fair compensation for Peavy if you were to pick from the players you could see the Dodgers realistically offering?

Thanks!

Loren said...

Mr. DePodesta,
I'm one of the few people who are semi-on board with trading Peavy. My big thing is that I just don't want this to appear to be a repeat of 1993 when played like McGriff and Sheffield and Fernandez were traded for the equivalency of a box of cracker jacks each. Getting some serious big prospects, some top notch talent that you can point to and show how they'll improve the team, that's how you win people over.

This can't be the Santana or the Haren trade simply because neither team got squat for the big name they gave up. Neither the A's or the Twins got benefits this season from their 'trade haul' which is what we need. If anything this should be more of a C.C. trade or a Manny trade with some big names, people who can make immediate impacts at key positions coming over. Beyond that, this will be held up as a failure.

Oh one last question if I may, Sandy Alderson wasn't against trading in the division. Why in the world would you trade Peavy to the dodgers??? That might be the one case I wouldn't accept a trade even if we cleaned them out.

WebSoulSurfer said...

I assume that if Peavy is traded that he will want his 5th year guaranteed to waive his no trade contract.

I also assume that the Padres FO is smart enough to realize that it would take a couple of WS in a row to forgive them if they traded Peavy to the Dodgers.

To me that leaves the Braves, Cubs and Cardinals in the running.

Just about every pundit or sports columnist that I have read or listened to has said it will take a better deal to get Peavy than the Mariners paid for Bedard or the D'backs paid for Haren.

In the trade for Bedard, the Orioles got one top 10 prospect in Adam Jones, a well regarded major league reliever in George Sherrill (73 appearances and a 2.36 era the previous season), and 3 prospects including a 19 yr old Chris Tillman (#67 according to BA and who was the Mariner's minor league pitcher of the year in 2007) and 6'7" 20 yr old Tony Butler. A 5-1 trade.

Remember, Bedard was 29 to start this season and was in the final year of his contract and had not been (and wasn't this year) any where near the pitcher Peavy is.

The A's got 6 players and 4 of the Diamondbacks top 10 prospects for Dan Haren and minor league reliever Connor Robertson.

Outfielders Carlos Gonzalez (#22 according to BA and the Dbacks #1 prospect) and Aaron Cunningham (#6 in Dbacks system); Pitchers Brett Anderson (#36 according to BA and #3 in Dbacks system), Dana Eveland and Greg Smith; and 1st baseman Chris Carter(#7 in Dbacks system). A 6-2 trade.
Eveland (24 yrs old) started 29 games for Oakland this year going 9-9 with a 4.34 era. [URL="http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265320.html"]Link[/URL]
Haren had two years left on his contract and an option year for 2010.

If Atlanta is going to be considered the main suitor, in my opinion take them offering up a package that included 5-6 of the following 10 with at least one of the top 2 listed to make a deal for Peavy:

Schafer - OF - #25 Prospect according to BA - ML Ready
Heyward - OF - #28 according to BA
Jair Jurrjens - RHP - #49 according to BA
Gorkys Hernandez - OF - #92 according to BA
Tommy Hanson - RHP - not in BA Top 100
Cole Rohrbaugh - LHP - not in BA top 100
Brent Lillibridge - SS - not in BA top 100
Kris Medlen - LHP - not in BA top 100
Yunel Escobar - SS - 2nd ML season
Kelly Johnson - 2B - 3rd ML season

Here are how they ranked in the Braves system prior to the season:
[URL="http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265139.html"]Link[/URL]

The Cards I would think would be in the hunt, but would they pull the trigger? They have a history of bringing in top level pitchers and they have certainly showed they are willing to pay top dollar, but will they trade away Colby Rasmus, Bryan Anderson and Chris Perez (their only grade A or B prospects) + a couple of other lower level pitching prospects? Adam Kennedy might be part of any trade with St Louis.[URL="http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265257.html"]Link[/URL]

The Cubs, well do the Padres really WANT the junk they have to offer.

erik said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess the Cardinals make an offer you can't refuse - Rasmus, Jess Todd, Jason Motte...

Chris said...

I think the circumstances surrounding this Peavy situation surely favors both parties. A young pitcher in or near his prime under a lengthy and reasonble contract, which wouldn't handcuff your trading partner if that team would like to make other signings, is highly valued. On the other hand if your organization feels it is best to go in a slightly different direction, the fastest way to get there is trading your best asset. Peavy will definitely yield an excellent return.

Baseball is cyclical. Every team rebuilds at some point and systems must be replenished. It may be true that prospects are an unknown, but most likely a team can't rebuild without prospects. Their cheap and their under control. Besides a team can get a boatload of prospects for just Peavy. The collective baseball minds must decide who those prospects are. That's the tricky part.

The Padres had five winning seasons in a row until this year and the division winner was only six games over .500. I would imagine that the Padres would still be in contention for the next few years if they did trade Peavy...and wait until their prospects really develop. All in all, I can see it either way.

Marty said...

It would be crazy to not listen to trade offers for Peavy. Yes, he's tied up for several years and is a top-shelf starter, but someone may just suggest a deal that improves the team.

Thanks for the blog, Paul.

sd-changeup said...

Paul, it seems that something fundamental has changed with the direction of the Padres within the past 10 months. Ten months ago the Padres extended Peavy's contract with all the attending fanfare. In order to get him to sign a below market agreement, he also was given a full no-trade clause. To me, this is not an especially good way to build leverage even if it might build value with a player like Peavy. I truly don't believe the Padres had any intention of trading Peavy for the foreseeable future. It would have been much simpler to trade him now without that no-trade clause. If I were him I'd at least want the option year picked up in order to waive it. Even that doesn't make his contract competitive with Zambrano's or Zito's, and he's younger than Zito.

There are only 2 things that have really changed since Peavy's extension was signed: 1) a very poor 2008 season and 2) speculation on team ownership issues including lowering payroll. 2008 was truly awful and as a season ticketholder, I saw a lot of bad games in person. It was pretty clear though that we were far worse at pitching than any overall fall-off in hitting from our 2007 season, although our bench was particularly weak. Our biggest problems were that our rotation wasn't deep, especially after we were banged up, and the bullpen was awful. However, trading your only ace-caliber pitcher doesn't seem a particularly good way to improve in pitching. Therefore, IMHO the more probable issue, and reason to trade Peavy now, is ownership and its attendant payroll problems which may affect team decisions for some time.

Jared said...

Paul

Love your articles. I have to agree with you that getting rid of star players CAN (not always does, but can) help a team. Look at the '07 and '08 Marlins. All they did was trade Miggy and D-Train for 1 Starting pitcher (Miller), a backup catcher and ended up being much better. I think it is the lack of expectations (especially with the Mariners teams without Arod) that can help a team, especially a young team.
Trade Peavy, and I hope it turns the Fathers around. Just please don't trade him to the NL East, the Marlins have a tough enough pitchers to deal with (Hamels, Santana).

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Paul,

All I can say is good luck to you and the team over there. This must be incredibly difficult.

You can deal Peavy and still improve, however counter-intuitive it might be.

I just hope IF you deal Jake, he winds up on my hometown nine.

Look fwd to chatting again soon. Thanks for this honest look inside one of the most landscape changing potential trades in quite some time.

Jason

mweldon said...

Yeah I have to agree with alex. I've been trying to think back to any other player of Peavy's stature and in a similar contract situation and I really can't think of any. I am skeptical that any team would be able to offer what he was really worth.

Someone on the radio suggested jokingly Jose Reyes and David Wright. Then everyone laughed, but I was thinking to myself, yeah that's pretty close. I mean how do you place value on someone who is going to be the ace of your staff and possible C.Y. candidate for the next 5 years? It would have to be a game-changer for me to even consider letting him go.

I bet it's fun to shop him around though.

The EveryServer said...

I'll preface this by saying that I am a huge Jake Peavy fan. I love to watch him pitch and the games he started this year were the only games that got me excited all year. But I think that trading Jake Peavy is the right move for the organization as a whole, and I'm a much bigger Padres fan than I am a Jake Peavy fan. If the club can get a package with a premier prospect or two, hopefully a shortstop (Brandon Wood?), outfielder (Jayson Heyward? Colby Rasmus?) or a power arm that is close to major league ready with a nice package of secondary guys and I think that you've got to pull the trigger. This team is not going to compete for two or three years, so let Jake go ply his trade somewhere he can win, while the Padres add more cheap, young talent and start setting themselves on the course the Rays have so successfully run.

Sean Hogan said...

I understand your point, Paul, and I know you have a ton more experience in the field than I do (12? years according to the always reliable Wikipedia to 0). I guess it's just a peculiar situation...the best pitcher in baseball with 5 seasons left of team control. Even if the team is rebuilding, he'll be around by the time they're competitive again, but I suppose his value is at it's peak.

P.S.-are you really from Alexandria? Cool!

Melvin Nieves said...

I feel like a kid in a candy store looking around at other farm systems. It's like, "Ok, we'll start with your top prospect. What else you got after that?"

tommygunz said...

Paul, if you and the FO get 7 players who are all just a tick below Peavy, I'll be the first to applaud the move. I agree with the apparent organizational philosophy that everyone is available for the right price, but I have a feeling that the bounty won't be quite so fruitful. Rumors are just that, I'm already reading Olney re: the Braves making a couple of their top prospects "untouchable", and instead talking about a deal centered around Kelly Johnson and 2nd tier prospects. Sorry, but that won't cut it.

Kemp, Kershaw, and another top prospect? That's the type of return I think Padre fans could stomach, even if it puts Peavy in Blue. Young, high ceiling guys who are ready now.

Just so hard to imagine #44 elsewhere. Trading a big talent is one thing, trading a talent with his hard nosed, gritty, "i'll kick your *** mentality" is another.

Larry Brown said...

Paul,
Thanks for posting on the matter. When a move so radical as this one arises it's a great pleasure to read what the minds behind the deal are thinking. I liked all the examples you laid out of teams getting better after trading away their studs. I believe the Padres need several players to improve and that Peavy is an excellent bargaining chip in order to acquire several talented players. I could even envision a trade with Atlanta that nets Jurrjens and maybe a few position players where Jurrjens alone outproduces Peavy (by moving to Petco while Jake deals with the NL East and maybe hits the DL once or twice). While I understand how moving Jake could help the team rebuild, I wanted to ask how tough it is for the front office to weigh the benefits of improving the team at the cost of trading a fan favorite. Do you worry about fan backlash when you trade a Cy Young winner like Peavy who's already given the team a pretty good discount? Additionally, how much of an impact does a (rumored) potential sale of the team have on the organization's need to move big contracts?

hector said...

I agree Alex, that is why I am very excited for the Peavy lottery.

Sean, you should read the blog again, and again, and probably again. And also look at how the Marlins traded Beckett for Hanley Ramirez (and others)...

Amit, Matt Cain may have the stuff, but he is not even close to the pitcher Jake is. That could be a classic example of a thrower and pitcher.

And Paul, the pressure is definitely on, like it has never been on. The economy is horrible, the team is even worse, lets admit it. At least the dow jones had some volatility this year. The Padres were just going south.

Both are fixable, that is the good thing, but the pressure is on you guys at the front office, because I think it is realistic to expect a 50% decline in attendance if you guys continue to more wrong decisions. Specifically ignoring an element of baseball that sometimes does not come out in statistical analysis. Speed, and building a team made for Petco. We have seen a square try to go into a circle, there must be some flexibility into the the front office's thinking and admit the importance of speed.

william said...

The 2007 Twins finished 79-83, traded Johan Santana and let Torii Hunter leave in free agency, and then went 88-75 in 2008

Paul, I hope you are not suggesting that the 08 Twins were a better ball club because Johan Santana and Torii Hunter were gone? The only player in the Twins lineup that was different as a result of those deals, was Carlos Gomez [ops+77]. For the record Tori Hunter [ops+112]. Delmon Young came in via a different trade. And then of course there is the subtle differences between having Johan Santana or Livan Hernandez take the mound every five days.

No way you are suggesting that.

The Twins were better this season because Baker and Liriano were healthy. If the Twins could have found some way to keep Santana and Hunter, they'd be playing game 5 tonight. Not Boston.

Santana, Hunter, and CC Sabathia were soon to be free agents, that wouldn't sign favorable contracts with their respective teams. They as players earned that right. Minnesota traded Johan, because they had to. Cleveland traded CC, because they had to.

You DO NOT have to trade Jake.

Jake Peavy on the other hand, is a once in a lifetime type talent, possibly better than those two above, locked up for five of his prime years. You don't trade away that type of talent, if you don't have too. It's nuts.

And what of the utter disrespect the organization has just shown the Peavy, him agreeing to favorable terms, and then the front office publicly shopping him sixth months later. He took the "San Diego Discount" for crying out loud.

All Jake is saying is "lets compete". It's his team. He came up through the padre ranks, he did his time, he bit the line on the San Diego beaches, and signed up for five of his prime years. Johan and CC Didn't. So what if Jake ran his mouth a little after a 99 loss season. Hell, I expect him too.

Besides. This team is not that far away from competing again anyway, they just aren't. Healthy pitching, and some defense, just like the 08 Twins, and they are right back in it. :)

Ideally .. you just pony up for Orlando Hudson and the Friars could have the best infield defense in baseball, hands down. Adrian, Hudson, Greene, and Kouzmanoff sure would look great backing up healthy pitching. Isn't that the philosophy, pitching and defense?

It also helps that Hudson can hit a little, and would bring some life to this very, very, very boring team ...

go padres!

paid for by the people trying to get Orlando Hudson's name plugged into the spreadsheet.

Mimi said...

I agree. I can't imagine #44 in another uniform. I was at Jake's MLB debut against the Yankees. This "spunky kid" held them to one hit one run, and on National TV yet... and he came up from AA! At that point I was sold! When he won the NL ERA title I had to special order a Jake Peavy Jersey because no one had it. When he got the strike-out title the next year, I was astounded that he didn't even get a sniff for the Cy Young. Then, last year when he won the Cy Young, I was so happy and so proud... I felt like he was my discovery.

If the Padres trade Jake, I don't see myself attending any games next year or the next few years to come. I don't care who we get for him! There are some intangibles the FO needs to consider. I understand that baseball is a business, but trading away your homegrown ace? To fans like myself, it could be likened to selling your child.

We have gone from spending $50 a games for 2 good seats, parking and refreshment to $175 a game in the last ten years. My salary has increased since 1998, but not by that percentage! I'm tired of spending my money to fatten the pockets of an owner who doesn't care about me... the fan. I want Jake to stay because he is a legitimate star and he is home grown. He is OUR Padre. He is what Tony was and what Trevor is.

Josh said...

It'd be interesting to see a trade like this made that didn't exclusively deal with minor league players; kind of like when Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez were dealt in deals that included Jason Bay and Alfonso Soriano. Except this is a situation where Jake's contract isn't monstrous. Basically, trading him for some immediate impact players.

On pure speculation, and for the sake of my point, trading him to the Mets (possibly with Khalil) for Jose Reyes (and others) would represent that.

With that said, Jake's comments that he'll accept a trade if it's part of a rebuilding process doesn't really fit that type of move.

But in the words of Barack Obama, trading Jake Peavy makes sense if it's "change we can believe in!"

And for what it's worth, I'm hoping he's traded for some of those attractive Braves prospects. (Attractive as in really cute.)

CptJack said...

Adequate compensation.

A Fred Mcgriff trade where we don't even take top prospects would be unacceptable. Take what they would publicly call untouchable or no deal.

Heyward untouchable? not anymore

Kershaw untouchable? not anymore

william said...

off topic.

after tonight, you gotta be feeling pretty good about that JD Drew signing a few years back, eh? :)

Steve said...

As much as peavy is a great pitcher, I think the padres are devoid enough of offensive players and prospects to warrant consideration of trading him. I know that as fans, we want to see immediate returns on our trades, but I really think the answer might be to trade him for a package of young high upside prosepects who aren't ready for the majors yet. The braves have guys like freddie freeman, jason heyward, and julio teheran. The mets have guys like wilmer flores, jerrery marte, scott moviel, and fernando martinez. I think a package of 5 or 6 huge upside prospects like this would be the way to go. In a park like petco, and getting to play so many of our games in nl west parks, I don't think the pads will ever have a hard time finding pitching that is willing to come here. The deal, if there is one, has to provide the basis for an offense in the future.

Ace2110 said...

I don't think there is much doubt that if the Dodgers chose to they could put together a package of players no other team could match:

Kershaw, Kemp, McDonald and DeJesus probably gets the deal done in a manner of minutes and is in the range that the Padres should be asking for.

Additionally, having seen some of Kemp and Kershaw I think the average Padre fan would accept a deal like that, instead of 5 prospects from Atlanta that they've never heard of.

JEB said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the blog. It's good for fans to get a glimpse of the business side. Also, thank you for dumbing it down. I imagine the analyses you do would put me in a coma.

I go to about 20-25 games a year and always feel blessed to draw Peavy. I figure it gives me about a 75% chance to see a win. But that's an emotional statistic; I'm sure you have the real deal.

On the other hand, he has a bad history in the playoffs. Trevor took a lot of heat for that Colorado game, but it was Jake who put us in the hole. He was overpitching in the opening game of the 2006 Cardinals series as well. Just has trouble calming it down.

Anyway, we're fans so we're emotional. It's nice to get the occasional snaphsot of the larger picture.

Gavin said...

Loren - I think Hoffman probably turned out to be just a LITTLE better than a box of cracker jacks...

Ryan said...

Alex,

The Danny Haren trade actually is a great comp. While Haren is a tick below Peavy in talent and was under team control for 3 years instead of 5, you have to look at the production vs cost of those years they are under control. As of the Haren trade, he was under contract from 2008 at 4M, 2009 at 5.5M and 2010 at a 6.75M club option. Making for a total of 3 years of Haren at 16.25M. Peavy's deal is 5/78M (assuming option is picked up). Peavy's deal is very team friendly in year 1, but escalates significantly in 2010. Its still below market value, but by somewhere around 3-5M a year, whereas Haren is being compensated under market value by roughly 10M/year. If you add up all the years, Haren over 3 years and Peavy over 5 years, (even though Peavy is more years) are worth about the same under market value in total. Throw in that Haren (while not being the caliber of Peavy) was going to be paid roughly 5M as opposed to roughly 15M leaving more of a scarce resource ($) to be utilized elsewhere as well as the fact that with pitchers you always have a heightened injury risk so a 3 year contract is inherently less risky than a 5 year contract, and that skews to Haren being a better deal. I would also be remiss to not point out that the scarceness of positions (ie 25 man roster, 5 Starting Pitchers) means that Pitcher A being twince as good as Pitcher B means that pitcher A is worth quite a bit MORE THAN twice as much as Pitcher B, so that skews more to Peavy's side, but IMO, not enough to make Peavy an overall more attractive option. Now of course as Paul pointed out, each player has a different value to different teams and it takes two to tango which people take for granted.

Additionally on the other side of the ledger, from the SD perspective I would have to imagine that a Haren-like package would be what they would be looking for, as opposed to say a Sabathia-like package of one super stud prospect). Jake Peavy in and of himself is not going to make the Padres a playoff contender. Similarly, that extra 15M and a Matt LaPorta-like player aren't going to propel the Padres into playoff contention. The Padres should be looking for a very highly regarded top prospect (like Carlos Gonzalez) surrounded by a package of very interesting prospects (like the rest of that package). One guy isn't a difference maker for the Padres, they have a lot of holes and need a lot of cheap, high potential production in order to be able to compete in the next few years. Oakland has laid down the blue print that SD should be following.

Tom said...

Color me skeptical that the Red Sox were offering much more for Giles after the deadline, when they knew for sure that almost every other team had passed on him.

Sure, a lot of teams have won after losing star players. Anybody think that the Twins wouldn't have won the AL Central by nearly 10 games if they'd had 210 innings from Santana instead of Livan and Bonser?

I'm actually less concerned about trading Peavy than the apparent lack of a direction in a front office that sells itself as process-driven. It seems that either the processes aren't adequate, external factors such as the owner's payroll are now more constraining than before, or a combination of both. It's like the draft board discussion - sure you're looking to get better, but what that means changes if the owner gives you marching orders to get the payroll under X.

Alex said...

On trading with the Dodgers,

As tough as that would be for Padres fans (having to see Peavy in Dodger Blue 3-5 times a year) that might be the best fit. Peavy would probably waive his NTC for the Dodgers and they match up well with the Dodgers. Plus, the Dodgers might have a need for other potentially expendable Padres asset, Kouzmanoff and Heath Bell.

The price? Well, I don't know, this is unprecedented territory but you'd obviously have to start around Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has the potential of being the best lefty in baseball within a few years.

The package I would consider for Peavy, Kouz, and Bell?

Tier 1 (young emerging stars):
Clayton Kershaw
Matt Kemp

Tier 2 (good prospects, probably only 2 of these guys though):
Jason MacDonald
Ivan De Jesus
Scott Elbert (or Joshua Bell)

Tier 3 (decent throw ins):
AJ Ellis
Juan Castillo

That would no doubt be the largest haul of prospects I think in baseball history.

-Kemp and Kershaw help the team NOW and have the chance to be all-stars within two years
-MacDonald seems like a very promising 2-3 starter that could enter the rotation in 2009
-Ivan De Jesus: 21-year old known for having a good glove and just put up a .324/.419/.423 (stealing 16/18 bases) line at AA. Could replace Khalil after 2009
-Scott Elbert: Amazing strikeout stuff, although control is still a major issue. Probably starts with the big club in 2010
-AJ Ellis: Dodgers have no reason to really value this guy. 27 year old minor leaguer who put up .321/.436/.456 in AAA last year. PCL is offensive league and he's 27, but still, not a bad throw in to contend for the 09 catcher's gig
-Juan Castillo: Nothing spectacular here at all, but it seems like he's pretty solid and has a chance to be a decent back end of the rotation pitcher oneday

Now that might be a little too much for the Dodgers to give up, but if the Pads got 6 out of these 7 players, wouldn't that be quite a haul?

Cpt Top Off said...

William,

Get real. Peavy is not a once-in-a-lifetime pitcher. He is a top-5 pitcher TODAY.

Orlando Hudson has a great reputation as a defender, but if you look hard at the numbers last year, he was actually very average defensively. And please, Kouz is nowhere NEAR good at 3B, no matter how much the brass likes to pump him up. He is a butcher.

Z.V. Sanders said...

Unless you can get 2 A prospects, I don't think its worth doing.

Kristofer said...

Mr. Depodesta,

Thanks for your candid remarks. My view on this situation though is that Peavy is the cornerstone of the franchise. I will be willing to go to the ballpark every five days to see him play. Without him all we have to look forward to is Agon, who is great but our offense struggles and he isnt the one that makes me say hey lets go pay the money to watch the Pads.

Most of my argument is purely emotional. I love to watch him pitch. i love that he came up through our farm and wants to help bring the Padres a World Series. He is always fired up and he gets the crowd going. He is our leader on the field in the clubhouse and away from the park. How can you go wrong with that type of player.

Yes we can net some prospect or even a few major league players but what is the chance any of them is as good as Jake Peavy? Not likely to me.

YOu build a team with soome young guys and some vets and have a good core group in my opinion. Our core right now is great with Agon, Kooz, and Headley on offense with Peavy, Chris Young, and Trevor anchoring the pitching staff. This has a formula for winning all over it. All we need is the few key guys to put it all together. Gerut could definately be one key and signing a good number three and figuring out our second base and catching situations puts us right there in contention.

Schlom said...

Paul,

As William said in an earlier comment, you can't seriously think that the Twins trade of Johan Santana was a good idea this past season, can you?

Also, I've seen many statements by the front office saying that you don't need to trade Peavy, only that you could if you get an overwhelming offer. However, by being so public about the fact that he's on the trade block, doesn't that make it very hard for you not to trade him? And won't that hurt his trade value?

bdeblanc said...

As a lifelong Padres fan, I've waited many years to have a #1 starter on my team that can stand up to any other pitcher in baseball. Especially one who is loyal to the team and signed long term. Dumping Peavy for prospects tells me that the team has no interest in competing and giving the fans a reason to attend the games in the foreseeable future. We're in a pitcher's park, so they're going to get rid of their best pitcher???? Shouldn't we be spedning our money on pitching and be getting younger and better at the other positions? This is nonesense. I've always supported this team, but will not attend one single game next year or order the MLB Package if they trade Peavy. The fact that they may even consider trading him to the Dodgers tells me as a fan that they made a couple year run after getting the ballpark and now don't care about winning. Very sad.

Paul DePodesta said...

william and schlom,

There was no implied causal relationship with the Twins or any of the other teams that I mentioned. It was merely to show that teams don't crumble simply because they trade or lose a terrific player.

Paul DePodesta said...

bdeblanc,

I understand your frustation, but considering a move to try to make the overall team and organization stronger is quite the opposite of "not caring about winning". The easy thing for us to do would be to say to everyone, "Sorry, Jake is untouchable." That would actually be not caring about winning. The hard thing would be to trade him in an effort to try to win more games over the next 5+ years.

Alex said...

Ryan,

That's a great point about the salary between Peavy vs. Haren. Still, I'd have to think Peavy still has more value because Peavy at 27 is a known quantity as one of the best pitcher's in the game. Haren was great in Oakland and clearly was a pitcher on the rise when the Dback's traded for him, but Haren still only had 1 "frontline" year prior to his trade.

Haren was great with Oakland and has definitely solidified himself as a frontline starter, but this year did have a lot to do with that (not that it wasn't expected).

I guess my point is, I think Dan Haren is just a tick below Jake Peavy in player value RIGHT NOW, but when he was traded, the gap was quite a bit wider. Jake Peavy's track record as an elite pitcher was just miles ahead of Dan Haren's in 2007 when he was traded. I don't know if it was wide enough to make up for the differences in money (I suppose that depends on the team) but your point is definitely valid.

Amit said...

if the padres do trade peavy, then they gotta move adrian gonzalez as well, right? if they're gonna rebuild, cant half-ass it. stock the farm system and suck for a couple years. once those young studs are ready to play in the majors, use that money which was freed up from the peavy, gonzalez, etc. trades to get the missing pieces and you got yourself a contender!

bdeblanc said...

Thanks for the response Paul. If we have a contender again in the next couple years, I suppose I'll look back and agree with the move, but we'll never get another Jake Peavy no matter how many "prospects" we can get out of the deal, and sadly, even if we did, we would trade him away before he gets too expensive. That's why I was so happy when we signed him long term. I believed the team would finally hold onto it's best players and stop trading them away when they get expensive. Frankly, he's not "expensive" compared to his projected value, he could have gotten more on the free agent market if he wanted to go that route.

Ryan said...

Regarding a potential trade with the Dodger:

If Paul and the Padres front office get the Dodger players and prospects being thrown around in here (centering the trade around Kemp and Kershaw, maybe throwing in Ivan De Jesus and James McDonald), I WILL BURN EVERY ARTICLE OF DODGER GEAR I OWN AND TURN TO THE DARKSIDE (become a Padres fan).

Seriously, I would try and file suit for grand-theft-something...

Good luck Paul. As someone posted yesterday: as a diehard (Dodger) fan, I want the Padres to fail. As a baseball fan, I want you, Paul, to succeed.

Ryan Greenwald said...

Since baseball is a business; what about the revenue lost in attendance and jersey sales due to trading Peavy? What about the lack of fan support due to trading Peavy? And no matter how it is spun, the perception that the organization is cheap?

renee6542 said...

I've been a season ticketholder since 1997. This is the first time I have EVER seen the Padres talk so openly about a trade--almost since the last pitch was thrown in the 2008 season. This is also the first time I have ever heard the Padres talk so DEFINITE about making the trade. I have not heard anything like, "If we don't get what we want, we'll walk away."

These players make an obscene amount of money but they are still people. Trading a player involves stressing families. In my opinion, talking so openly about trading a player is very disrespectful of that player. That it takes place just 11 months after that player accepted a discounted long-term contract in order to stay in this town (and bought a home!) is also low-class. That it takes place while implying that trading away your rarest of pitchers, a Cy Young award winner, will somehow "improve" the team is also disrespectful to their fans intelligence. The Padres need to be candid with their fans. I have a feeling though that the Padres CAN'T be truthful because the truth is that they MUST trade Peavy in order to meet lower payroll. Making this public would, of course, diminish their leverage in a trade.

No matter what the explanation is, I'm seriously considering not renewing my season tickets. Peavy was the best thing--almost the ONLY thing--to watch this past season.

Nathan said...

this team has a serious public relations problem Paul, and while trading Jake may be better in the long run for the team, in the short run it's a PR disaster to say the least, the latest in a slew of many. Think of how confident people are in the economy right now...that's how confident Padres fans are in the front office these days. It's not good.

giftedkid527 said...

First, Clayton Kershaw will not be dealt. Guy is 21 and is already a decent big league pitcher? No way he is dealt as more than the majority of a package for a guy like peavy, maybe kershaw and one more guy, not kershaw kemp and 5 more. 2nd, You guys are so caught up on the fact that he is the cornerstone who is under control for 5 years, which is true; however, if the padres spend 80 mil on him over the next 5 years, and are never competitive, it will be a massive waste. 3rd, there is only so much rebuilding you can do if 60% of your roster would not bring in anything in a trade. 4th. Sometimes, in order to rebuild, you have to trade your best player, especially one like peavy, who will demand a haul of several very good prospects. If you could get kemp,kershaw and elbert, that is a deal you simply cannot turn down; however, you wont get that package. IMO, the best case scenario is Brent lillibridge, Schafer/heyward, Hanson and rohrbough. That would give the padres, immediately, a guy who could be their opening day SS, A great OF who could be ready by opening day 2010, and 2 pitchers who could both be stable parts in the rotation by 2010.

giftedkid527 said...

In a general response to what everyone is saying about not being able to get anytihng as good as peavy, Let me put it to you like this. You have a 100 dollar bill, Its very very valuable, right? But if you coud get 7 20 dollar bills, would you keep the 100 just because it is so valuable? No! By trading, yuo have more money! By trading peavy you can get a bunch of pieces who add up to more than peavy.

rizdak said...

It's unfair to compare the 2007 Twins and the 2008 Padres. The Twins would have been even BETTER if they had kept Santana and Hunter somehow. In 2007 the Twins had young, rising talent like Baker, Slowey, Liriano and Blackburn. Their position players are all young or in their prime.

Compare this to Padres 'prospects' like Wade LeBlanc (5.00+ ERA in AAA this year), 28-30 year old rookies like Edgar Gonzalez and Luis Rodriguez, low-ceiling players like Greene and Kouzmanoff, and old vets (sorry Giles, Hoffman). Trading Peavy won't fill the many, many holes in the Padres depth chart. I just hope that Peavy, a great gamer signed to a hometown discount, gets to play on a winning team like he deserves.

Sergio said...

How set is Matt Antonelli at 2B next year? Im curious since theres rumors of the Braves offering Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson in any Peavy potential package.

Wouldnt Yunel make more sense? Where would Matt play if another seccond baseman was aquired? And who would play Short if Khalil was moved?

Don said...

This trade talk reminds me of the firesale of the Werner era. I have followed this team since 69 and have lived through terrible seasons and some seasons of hope. C. Arnold sold players to make payroll, Werner traded players to increase profits and this trade stinks of the Werner era type of trade. You build around your stars, you improve the team, you put a product on the field that fans can support. You don't dump players to save money. However, this teams PR department is nearly as bad as the team was this last season.

iDodgr Mike said...

Paul -

I'm not a Padres fan; never have been. But I don't hate the Padres either. I grew up a Dodger fan and have been one my entire life (I'm 36 now).

Several years ago I read "Moneyball" and was introduced to you through Michael Lewis and the book, and have been a fan ever since. When the Dodgers hired you before the 2004 season, I couldn't have been more ecstatic. Needless to say, when they let you go after the 2005 season, I was very disappointed, not only with the way the did it, but also how they treated and perceived you. I never thought you were ever given a chance to let your ideas come to fruition in L.A.

When you latched on with the Padres a couple of seasons ago, I thought your ideas, beliefs and philosophies would be a big addition to the Padres organization. Mind you I'm still a Dodger fan, I have never had any reason to "hate" the Padres, so I could only think the Padres were getting a well-rounded guy with great ideas and beliefs.

I recently stumbled across your blog here (around mid-season), and have been an avid reader ever since. Your topic on Peavy got me thinking and I decided now would be a good time to introduce myself to you, and to put in my two cents as an "unbiased" outsider.

I think right now, with the position the team is in, would be as good a time as any, to seek offers for Peavy. Because of the success he's had throughout his career to this point, without having regressed, his trade value is extremely high. You're more likely to get more value in return now (this off-season), whether it be two prospects plus a major league ready player, or three or four prospects, than if you wait it out a half a year or year and risk the chance that Peavy could get hurt next season, or regress to a point his value begins to drop and you get less value in return for him.

I liked the comparisons you used with Johan Santana and CC Sabathia. Jake Peavy is in the same class as both of those pitchers. I think the Twins played their hand perfectly by waiting it out before the season started, knowing they were in position to get the most value in return for Johan at that point and time. I think the Padres are in the same situation with Peavy, with the exception of the number of years left on his contract.

Obviously, the risk is you have no idea how the players you would get in return would pan out, but I think that comes with the territory of making a trade of this magnitude. That said, I think now is as good a time as any to move him. Peavy's value is at an all-time high right now.

(And yes, I will be thrilled to see him out of the division so the Dodgers don't have to face him four or five times a year!)

Michael said...

Paul, I do agree with this kind of assessment of the current market value of a player. Though, my question is, did the Padres do the same thing with Khalil Greene last year after his tremendous season. If not, why ?

Schlom said...

Why are you so committed to trading Peavy this season? The best-case scenario is that you get a package like the A's got for Dan Haren. That potentially could be outstanding but would weaken the team for next season.

Since the division was won with only 84 victories, isn't waving the white flag for next season a little hasty? 84 wins doesn't really seem like that many, even the Royals have gotten that many in the past five seasons. So if you think your team is worse than the Royals, shouldn't there be further changes than just trading Jake? If you can't compete in the worst division in baseball, than shouldn't you blow the thing up and start over? So shouldn't Gonzalez, Kouz or Headley, Young and Bell all be on the block as well?

Mimi said...

Sorry Mr. D,
I'm gonna come right out here and say it... you a spin doctor. I don't believe you. In the paper today, there was a quote from KT saying that Jake is driving this trade. That is BS! I know it and you know it... but you can't blog that and keep your job, can you? We Padre fans are not stupid. We have seen this before. I hope you gentlemen understand, that by driving Jake out like you are, your also driving out fans... we are right on Jake's bumper.

SJP said...

do you believe in Buffett's assessment that now is the time to buy American stocks?
Do you draw parallels between equity investments and baseball? and if so, how do you assess the carnage on wall street?
Possibly, when factoring Warrens advice that "be feaful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."
Cheers and good luck in your evaluation process.

Richard B. Wade said...

"We Padre fans are not stupid."

A man who obviously doesn't listen to talk radio, read letters to the editor, or comments on SignOnSanDiego. A vast number of Padre fans are very stupid.

Steve said...

Hi Paul,

Although I appreciate your blog entry, the very nature of the language used is a large reason that the Padres have fallen from playoffs and near misses over the past few years to a phenomenal level of failure this year:

"we're assessing the market value for our players to see whether or not that value surpasses their value to the Padres"

So, in essence it's all just a mathematical ROI calculation. The front office ran computer models to predict 90 wins. Sandy spoke on the radio about how speed doesn't matter and how strikeouts don't matter. This has become a team that is completely committed to the theory that baseball wins will come from a diligent pursuit of statistical and mathematical analysis.

The fundamental problem with this approach is that statistics never tell the whole picture. Not all strikeouts are created equal: If a player comes into the game in the 6th inning to pinch hit for the pitcher with no men on base and 2 outs, it' okay for him to swing for the fences and fail. If a player comes into the bottom of the ninth, down by one, with the bases loaded and one out and THEN strikes out, that is a disaster. But, in the box score, both players show up as 0-1, 1 K

Speed doesn't simply manifest itself in stolen bases: If a player hits a slow roller to the shortstop, but lacks the speed to leg it out, it shows up in the line score exactly the same as someone who hits a hot smash to the shortstop: putout 6-3

When a ball falls in the outfield because your center fielder is not particularly fast, it simply shows up as a single. When that same outfielder fails to catch a ball hit into the gap that another CF can catch... in one case, it simply shows up as "8" and in the other it shows up as a triple. Big difference, but no where in the stats does it show up that speed cost you a run when the next batter sacrifices him home

You can quote ROIs, Ks/9 innings, ERAs, OPS, OBP and BSUpTheWazu until the cows come home, but it won't change the fact that baseball is more than the sum of its statistics and until the Padres front office realizes that, it will continue to undervalue, ignore, and even frown upon intangibles. And as a result, the team will continue to fail.

Jake is a fellow with so many intangibles beyond his baseball abilities that if (IF!) you trade him, you had better take those into account. Do not stand in front of us and give us the BS line that his value wasn't worth the dollars paid, because we the fans see his loyalty, commitment, dedication, honesty, fire, and competitive drive every day.

There is a reason that there are ONLY three Padres shown in the pictures on front of the season ticket renewal packages:
The statue of Tony Gwynn, a small picture of Adrian Gonzalez, and right smack dead center in the middle of photos, larger than the others:

Jake Peavy with a fierce look of exaltation...

Sean Callahan said...

Paul,

I appreciate the time and effort you put into communicating in a less formal way. It's fascinating to get a brief glimpse into how professional baseball clubs operate.

From a club point of view, how do you discount the future value of prospects against the present value of top-level players?

Despite the suggested dollar analogies provided in the comments, having $100 in the bank (Peavy) is very different then investing $20 in five different companies (prospects) and hoping that that investment is worth more than $100 in a few years time. Trading players for prospects seems to be more a venture capitalist's model than a stock brocker's model.

Getting the entire 25-man roster of the Washington Nationals for Jake Peavy probably wouldn't be a good deal. Getting the entire 25-man roster of the New York Yankees, if you then took on their contracts, probably wouldn't be a good deal either.

I understand you would start trading those parts immediately, keeping what you wanted, but I still think you'd end up with a payroll that you couldn't maintain, so won't have necessarily improved your position.

To me, trading Peavy now means that the Padres no longer believe they can compete over the next three years. Hopefully the down period isn't as long as 1999-2004, but if Peavy goes, I'll check back in on the Padres for the 2012 season.

Regards,
Sean Callahan

Tom said...

When someone claims that trading a star player "can buoy" a team, that sure as heck is an "implied causal relationship."

will said...

this is how you reward your fans after getting petco built? you trade one of the few homegrown players that actually has panned out? padres management based on their actions definitely doesn't care about the fans. declining season ticket sales is cited as a reason for looking to cut payroll yet who has the most influence on the quality of the product on the field? the management.

Fastness said...

Tony Gwynn Jr, J.J. Hardy and Angel Salome for Peavy. Y/N?

(Note: please say yes and call Melvin immediately. I'm sure you have his private line. I promise you that this is a completely fair deal. Plus you get Gwynn to patrol center. We know how your fanbase loves him. And if you REALLY need it, I'm sure you can ask for Jason Kendall.)

Paul DePodesta said...

tom,

You're right - I wrote "can buoy", not "will buoy". More importantly, the overall point is that one player doesn't make a team, and teams who have lost great players don't necessarily get worse before they get better.

Each deal will determine on an individual basis whether it made the organization better or not.

Alex said...

fastness,

If that's all the Padres got for Jake Peavy, I think some of these Padres fans might be justified in their revolt. I think the bounty (if Peavy is traded at all) will be much higher. It has to be an offer you can't refuse.

One huge factor in these trade talks is the amount of talent the Pads have in the minors: Kulbacki, Blanks, Inman, Latos, Decker, McBryde, Scribner, etc.

The Padres really have built up some tremendous depth in the minors and what the Pads might be looking to do is just fill out that depth as much as possible. If they know they are going to have an infusion of talent on the field in 2011 or 12, why not do their best to try and build on that great core RIGHT NOW, while they can still do it at cheaper rates. If you build on that core of players, the next generation of Padres, right now you will be prepared to make noise for when those players reach fruition.

My guess is the Padres FO knows what they have in young players that should be ready in 2011 or 12 and is looking to consolidate their current players to make THOSE teams as good as possible, potentially setting up a string of GREAT Padre teams from 2012-2017, and hopefully keep piecing together pieces to keep the success moving beyond those years.

One of the hardest things for humans do is be patient. America is all about instant gratification and that is something we focus on a bit too much in everyday life. The Padres probably looked themselves in the mirror and realized they don't want a team that is struggling to make the playoffs, they want teams that are the heavy favorites each and every year and are constant WS contenders. They see the core coming up for the next generation of teams and realize if they can just add to that squad and fine tune it that they can become a force when that generation of Padres is ready.

They already have some great talent in the minors that will be ready in a few years, we know this. Now imagine adding 4-5 more blue chip prospects to those future Padres teams? Or 7-8 more (if they choose to trade Gonzalez or CY)? They could have the best young team in baseball, by simply being cognizant of knowing when the best time is to take their shot at being a consistent WS threat

Paul DePodesta said...

sean callahan,

You make some good observations. Prospects are certainly different than Major League players, but every player comes with some sort of risk. Accepting draft picks (which isn't allowed, by the way) is more like venture capital. Taking young players is probably more like small-cap stocks, and ML players are like large-cap stocks. Over the long-term, small-cap stocks tend to outperform large-cap stocks. In a deal like this, though, there would probably be a blend.

As far as the entire 25-man roster idea, I think you took it a bit too literally.

If we felt that trading Jake would inhibit our ability to compete until 2012, I don't think we would do it. That's not what we're trying to accomplish here.

Paul DePodesta said...

ryan greenwald,

How any trade would impact our fan loyalty is definitely a consideration. Unfortunately, virtually every organization in baseball deals with those questions in today's game.

David Harris said...

The easy thing for us to do would be to say to everyone, "Sorry, Jake is untouchable."

Paul, Let me start off by saying that I am a huge Peavy fan and have been since his debut in 2002, so I might be a bit biased. That said, I think the above quote is fundamentally wrong. I understand shopping Peavy and have even heard some tempting scenarios in which a trade would benefit the Padres.

However, I think the short-term repurcusions in the community are not accounted for in these scenarios and the damage to the image of the front office. What I mean by that is when you signed Peavy just under a year ago and gave him full no-trade protection, the front office showed Peavy and the community that you had no intentions of trading him and that this was a long-term investment. Just a season later, the front office is publicly (an important aspect here) taking a 180 and actively shopping him. Whether intentional or not, this has to have an impact on Peavy's perception of and loyalty to the Padres. If a deal doesn't transpire, is all of this worth a cost?

I feal I could write for quite a while on this topic, but I think you get the point. There are so many factors at play here. I do not envy the position that the front office have put themselves in. At this point, your dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

Paul DePodesta said...

david harris,

There were discussions with Jake and his representative before engaging in any dialogue with any other clubs. Ultimately, Jake can obviously decline any deal.

Mimi said...

Ultimately, Jake can obviously decline any deal.

in that case... TURN THEM DOWN JAKE! The fans LOVE you and DO NOT want you to go, even if those losers in the FO do. DECLINE ANY DEAL JAKE!

Tom said...

Alex, I'm not sure if my comment got lost in the ether, so I'll go with a shorter version. The Padres had an outstanding farm system in 2001-02. Most experts considered it a top 5 system. That great, deep pool of prospects led to:

One superstar, Jake Peavy

A couple of average players in Oliver Perez and Xavier Nady.

A useful pitcher before he got hurt, Brian Lawrence.

The rest of the names from that time busted, flamed out, or were never worth the hype in the first place. I love Decker and Kulbacki, but they could easily be Ben Johnson rather than Brian Giles. The last four drafts have been above-average, over all, but we're still desperately short of pitching.

Lots of minor league systems - not just ours - have turned to ashes without doing much to help the major league team.

Padman42 said...

Mr Depodesta,
Now that the Peavy trade has been beaten to death till a deal actually happens (although something was published in I believe the Boston Herald about Peavy going to the Red Sox for Lowrie, Elsbury, Masterson, and a prospect). I was wondering if you could answer a point that you touched on.
You mentioned that draft picks can not be traded (which I knew about), but do you see a time in the near future where this would not be the case? I figure that with some teams with high picks not wanting to pick a player based on a price tag (cough Padres in 04' (not now though)), do you think baseball will allow a trade? I'm sure teams would be more than willing to trade up or down in a draft, not to mention it would make draft day more exciting than it already is.

Paul DePodesta said...

padman42,

I certainly hope it happens sooner rather than later. Allowing us to trade picks would certainly not force us to trade picks. Added flexibility is generally welcome.

As far as when it might happen, I would guess that there will be a number of potential draft changes discussed in the next round of collective bargaining (still a few years away).

renee6542 said...

Paul, you said: There were discussions with Jake and his representative before engaging in any dialogue with any other clubs. Ultimately, Jake can obviously decline any deal.

After what became public about the trade Brian Giles nixed to the Red Sox, what you said seems to be shorthand for, 'Jake, we are slashing payroll to the bone and can't afford to add any bonafide major league players to the roster, especially since you take up so much of the payroll. Therefore, we are in rebuilding mode and are going to suck for a while. Do you want out?' Jake said, 'In that case, I'll consider it.'

Peavy wants to be here and took millions less to be here. What I would like to know is why was an extension negotiated just 10 months ago, including a no-trade?

To me, there's 3 possibilities why the Padres want to trade away Peavy so soon after his new deal:

1) The Padres have this method of giving a player a NTC if he agrees to the famous San Diego discount. Because this discounted contract raises his value, they can get more in a trade for that player. When they want to cash that value in, they then go about making that player unhappy so they are willing to waive their NTC.

2) There are ownership issues which may force the lowering of payroll no matter what the consequences to the roster. This means the Padres will be willing to take the best offer for Peavy, even if it isn't an outstanding offer.

3) The Padres are so flabbergasted by a near-100 loss season, that they are making a radical change in direction. Instead of adding on to a team with an existing staff ace, they feel they won't be able to compete for a couple of years. Therefore they want to cash Peavy in now and start a full rebuild.

I am sincerely hoping that the situation is not #1, even if it seems like thats the way the Padres have been doing business, beginning with Nevin. Players talk and it is surely getting around by now that it isn't worth it to take the SD discount including a NTC because the Padres will finesse you into a trade anyway.

Personally, I think a lot of the situation is #2, which is disheartening. It means that we have to sell Peavy one way or another.

However, its probably a combination of #2 and #3. We don't have the money to add the players we need to go WITH Peavy and therefore the Padres are willing to trade away arguably the best pitcher our organization has ever produced.

It's sad. With a payroll similar to 2008's spent more wisely and a little better luck with injuries I think we could compete considering our division is not that strong. We have some other trade pieces in Kouzmanoff, Greene, and Bell which are easier to replace. Even Gonzales is easier to replace as we have Blanks in the minors.

If this wasn't about money, it would be too soon to give up on the next couple of years by trading away our staff ace/losing streak stopper.

renee6542 said...

Paul, I want to add that I appreciate that you have given us this forum which enables us to vent to someone in the organization. I know you are doing your best in an uncomfortable situation.

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
-Carl Jung

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
- Thomas A. Edison

hector said...

Paul,

This is extremely of the subject, but are the Padres considering bringing back Prior?
It would be nice if the Padres get a return on that investment, and it should be wise not to let him hit free agency. He should be ready to go for spring training right?

I would not mind a rotation of YOung, Baek, Estes, Prior and someone else.

S&J Stubblefield said...

Paul,

As a lifetime Padres fan, I completely understand the logic of trading Jake to improve the quality of the team. Take for example the Baltimore Orioles who last offseason traded Tejada and Bedard for 10 prospects. Granted Bedard is not Peavy and Tejada went from kinda old to officially older over the course of the year. They received 10 prospects, maybe a couple were Major League ready, but the upside on Adam Jones and some of the arms they received was enough to justify it. I like the example the Twins set last year, though you didn't mention that the Twins received young prospects who also contributed at the Major League level immediately, one being a young center fielder, of which we could also use one. Part of being a life long Padres fan is seeing the big picture and how to build an organization to win this year or win for years to come. I'd much rather have a lineup of consistently strong performers than have to count on my 2,3 & 4 hitters to generate all my offense. And if anybody watched any games, that's what was happening. Thank you for the communication provided to us the fans, it's greatly appreciated. As a true fan, watching the rest of the division developing young talent, we need to start now or we will be chasing the D-backs, Rockies and Giants for many years to come.

Cpt Top Off said...

Hector, that is an AWFUL rotation...

Fastness said...

"fastness,

If that's all the Padres got for Jake Peavy, I think some of these Padres fans might be justified in their revolt. I think the bounty (if Peavy is traded at all) will be much higher. It has to be an offer you can't refuse."

Come on, man. You get Tony Gwynn Jr and the grittiest catcher in history. Plus a SS coming off an .821 season. That's more than fair for one of the best pitchers today.

(I thought my facetiousness was obvious by including the Kendall throw-in. I guess not.)

Tom said...

Hector, that's one of the worst rotations in the major leagues. How do people fall in love with 4 decent starts from Estes, when he had more luck than anyone deserves, and ignore 8 previous bad years?

That staff would have exactly one above-average pitcher, CY, and he's a major health risk. Everyone else is either a health risk, sucks, or both.

Ryan said...

Alex,

If you look at Haren and Peavy's PECOTAs before this year, Haren's MORP for 2008-2010 totals to a little over $45M. If you look at Peavy's MORP 2009-2013 is roughly $82M. Now PECOTA is just one projection system and MORP is far from perfect, but I'm just using it as an example of how the two players were projected BEFORE this season. So, as of the trade Haren was projected to be worth $45M and had a $16M contract over the next three years. Peavy (as of last years PECOTAs is projected to be worth $82M and has a $78M contract over the next 5 years.

Tom said...

stubblefield:

Yes, the lineup struggled at times. But as hard as it is for some people to believe, the offense outperformed the pitchers - by a lot. We had one above-average starter, and he only threw 160 innings. We had two average starters, one of whom was traded, the other who missed half the year. The rest of the starters, and almost the entire bullpen, were crap. CRAP, actually, in all capitals.

I do agree on the need to build a strong minor league system, not because it's morally right or anything, but because of how the owner has set the budget. Unfortunately, four years into the New Era, the progress in that regard is still iffy.

hector said...

Baek was starting consistently for the first time in the majors and he showed enough promise. I am not into number crunching, but I liked what I saw in his velocity and specially in September.

Estes was so unlucky this year, but he is finally healthy, he should have a nice year. He was not used to being healthy at the beginning of the season, so he broke his finger. All kidding aside, I feel this a very good change of pace guy that will have a productive year.

CY has what it takes to be a staff ace, he just needs to put a whole season together, and I believe he will, and then perhaps he will get traded at peak value.

Prior has the talent, lets hope he is healthy, so that the team can build around him. Black, Balsley and Akerfelds will protect him the way Dusty Baker never did.

The open spot could go to Geer, Leblanc, etc.

What do you think, that the Padres are moving Peavy in order to sign Sabathia? this will be another retooling year and hopefully they are ready to win in 2010.

I am not saying they are the best rotation, but they will be competitive enough to have the team around .500 and give you enough payroll flexibility to add if they are exceeding expectations.

The only thing I do not like about the approach the Front office takes is that is not always about the stats. After all, how many rings has this system earned? the 1989 A's?

Even so, if you discount Rickey Henderson's ability to create havoc on the basepaths, you do not have the ring.

Alex said...

Ryan,

Very good point, although I'm sure you'd concede not every team weighs the need of a player based solely on dollars versus production. For a team like the Marlins or Twins, they might require a certain dollar to production ratio when equating their value to a player, whereas a team like the Red Sox or Yankees might not care to the same degree.

Plus, saved money doesn't always mean there is available production you can buy with money. Now, with the type of dollars difference we're talking about here, that is probably not the case here.

One other thing that might come into play in terms of a player's value into an individual game. Now, I know there is no tried and true formula for increased success in the playoffs (at least as far as I know) but I would have to believe the strength of a pitcher does play a factor as the sample sizes get smaller. Since pitchers are the players on the field that most impact the outcome of a single game, the values of pitchers might change in the playoffs. I have no proof to back this up obviously, but I don't buy into the whole "crapshoot" theory of the playoffs. Certainly there is no certified formula for guaranteed success, but I do believe there are certain types of players that might increase the chances of playoff success. I don't know what types of players those might be, but pitchers could very well be the most important factor since they are the biggest variables from game to game.

13 Stoploss said...

as a Dodger fan, if the Dodgers trade Kemp, Kershaw, McDonald, and DeJesus for ONLY Peavy, I will no longer be a fan.

This isn't fantasy baseball.

Ace2110 said...

Paul,

Any chance you can get us an update on Prior?

Is he actually throwing off a mound already? If so, isn't that different then past years?

A front 3 of a healthy Prior, CY and Peavy puts you guys in good position for 85 wins doesn't it?

I guess I'm just not understanding why the organization feels the need to throw away 2009 and alienate even their most supportive season ticket holders when the division......frankly sucks.

hector said...

Paul,

I was reading that Luis Mateo -the domican kid that the Giants signed- has his contract voided because of bone chips in the elbow.

According to Dr. Lewis Yocum, he saw no need for surgery in Mateo’s elbow or shoulder and felt that aggressive rehab would be the preferred course of action.

Why not take a stab at this kid at a reduced price and see what comes out of it?

LoveMyTeam.com said...

Aren't you saying by trading Peavy, who you have for 5 more years, that you don't feel that you can contend in the next 5 without filling some big holes, and the only way to fill those holes is to use the biggest chip you have?

Certainly, if you saw your self play-off bound soon you would need Peavy to get out of the first round?

Dustin said...

Paul, I just want to think you again for starting this blog. It offers incredible insight into a baseball front office, and we all appreciate it.

Now onto Peavy, I won't pretend that you are going to go into detail on any offers or moves, and you shouldn't, but I was thinking that if the Braves are a fit, and they do seem to be a fit to most of us outsiders, wouldn't the Minnesota Twins make a great 3rd partner for both teams? It seems to me that the Twins have what both the Padres and the Braves need most, young talented OF's and young talented pitchers. And yet they lack what the Padres and Braves HAVE most of; young talented infielders, specifically on the left side of the infield. That just seems like there could be a really good fit for all 3 teams. Just throwing it out there.

Also, how tough is it in reality to get 3-way deals done in your experience as a general rule? It's obviously tough for those of us not in a major league front office to understand that. Thanks again for all the insight.

John said...

I agree with Ryan completely. The reason why the DBacks gave up six prospects is because Haren was under contract at such a bargain rate. Peavy, while signed at or below current value compared to this season's FA's, certainly wouldn't qualify as a "bargain" compared to Haren using any system.

Peavy's numbers certainly will not be the same away from Petco, and is certainly more of a health risk than Haren was at this point last season. I'm not saying that the Braves shouldn't trade for Peavy, just Hanson, Schafer, and one of Escobar or Johnson is too much. Greene has negative trade value, so please stop Padres fans trying to pawn him off on the Braves.

A trade of Charlie Morton or Kris Medlen, Jordan Schafer, and either Escobar or Kelly Johnson is a trade that is more realistic for the Padres and is one that would be beneficial to both teams. The Pads would get a young arm to put in the rotation, the center fielder of the future and a middle infield piece that would thrive hitting line drives in the gaps at Petco.

field39 said...

In a recent UT article, Jim Callis of Baseball America stated that the Padres farm system had "slipped a little".
Do you agree with his assessment? If yes, why has the system regressed? If no, why do you disagree?

Nathan said...

new topic: a member (bipmyroberts, great name) at the UT's Padres forum posted pictures from Petco today that suggest that the team is once again planning to move the fences in or at least considering it, perhaps even quite dramatically. Is there any truth to this, or are we misinterpreting the situation?

Personally, I think attempting to have a fair park rather than an extreme pitcher's park is a noble idea, though I'm not sure whether or not it would benefit the Padres in the long run. Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Amy Cima said...

Different subject, I heard watching the World Series that during the season Grant Balfour was sent to Triple A and cleared waivers. How did the Padres let that guy slip past them

Tom said...

No, Hector, that rotation doesn't get them anywhere near .500, not unless the offense is the 1929 Yankees. We had that rotation this year, except with Peavy instead of one of the stiffs.

Estes was unlucky with his locomotion. He was very lucky as a pitcher. Nobody succeeds for long when they walk as many as they strike out and they don't strike people out in the first place. Nobody. Estes is 35 and hasn't even been average since 2001. He hasn't been good since 1997.

As for Rickey Henderson in 1989: The A's swept the Giants in the WS. They beat the Blue Jays 4-1 to get there. Henderson's a great player, Top 25 all time, maybe, and he was great in those playoff games. But Oakland pretty much clobbered their opposition. It's far more likely that they'd have won even with a slow-footed LF, because they were a lot better than the competition.

The Yankees and Red Sox have both employed a sabremetric approach to players, prioritizing OBP and power over defense and speed. They have plenty of WS rings. The playoffs are about having a good team (which the front office can control) and playing well in a short series (which they can't).

Genius Insanity said...

I am a huge Padres fan, who lives in SD and watch the Padres as frequently as possible, and I completely agree with trading Peavey. Whatever the case for keeping Peavey, the Padres are better off trading him. They are a mid-market team with very little talent and a budget that demands that the team be able to build youth talent into everyday players and not sign overpriced free agents. Obviously trading your best pitcher is never the optimum idea but in the situation the Padres are in it make complete sense. The Padres need to focus on building the middle of the field. All of these spots have become question marks and need to be addressed with serious fixes and not little bandages that have occurred over the past 3 years. (Edmonds, Iguchi Barrett all come to mind as bandages put over major problems.) Khalil Greene is great defensively but has become a complete liability on offense. Even before hurting himself he was over-matched by the lower quality pitchers and it always seemed as if he never knew what pitch to look for and hit. Padres need to look into trading Greene as well. This team needs to be built to play well in Petco, which means a team that doesn't play station to station baseball and need to be able to hit the ball into gaps and run as well as have players who can go get the ball defensively. Changing the dimensions of Petco will not make this team better. Management needs to realize that they need to put out a team that fits their ballpark and the style of play needed to SUCCEED in the NL West. If this means trading one of the best pitchers in the NL to solidify the future then I am all for it because I'm tired of seeing a Below Average team pretending that they are a contender.

Eric said...

paul - as i'm reading all the hot stove chatter with the braves being in then the braves are out then the cubs are the focus now the cubs are out i have to wonder... why are you guys so intent on trading him?

are you past the point of no return at this point?

why not cut your losses on the effort to move him and allow the season to play out?

if peavy pitches well and you dont contend his value rises.. if he pitches well and you dont contend his value still rises..

the only thing i can really think of (without doing an in depth #s analysis) is that you're worried about his health impacting his trade value to potentially zip if he gets hurt.

what's the deal?