Braves exit Peavy bidding; Dodgers or Angels to enter?
The Atlanta Braves, long rumored as the likely destination for Jake Peavy, have bowed out of trade talks with the San Diego Padres, according to MLB.com.
The Braves were one of three teams listed as preferred destinations by Peavy, who has the right to approve any trade. The Dodgers and Chicago Cubs were the other two, and Peavy's agent has said the Angels might work too, since Peavy plans to keep his home in the San Diego area.
The Padres want young pitching, a young shortstop so they can trade Khalil Greene and a young center fielder. Young means inexpensive -- they're trading Peavy as part of a payroll purge -- and that means the Padres would not be interested in Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones or Gary Matthews Jr.
The Dodgers are a bit thin on prospects, since they traded six last summer to acquire Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake and Greg Maddux. They don't have a center fielder to offer, as they're not trading Matt Kemp, so they probably would have to include Chad Billingsley or James McDonald, Scott Elbert and either Chin-lung Hu or Ivan DeJesus Jr.
That might not be enough, but even if it were, the Dodgers might have to add $15 million to their payroll to cover the cost of Peavy, the veteran starter to replace Billingsley or McDonald -- Randy Johnson or Paul Byrd? -- and the veteran backup infielder to replace Hu or DeJesus. Might as well sign CC Sabathia.
The Angels rarely trade young pitching. They haven't traded a top starting prospect in eight years (former first-round pick Seth Etherton). Jered Weaver, a fly-ball pitcher, would be a nice fit in Petco Park, and he's four years from free agency. The Angels have young shortstops in Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis and Sean Rodriguez. They haven't produced a significant outfield prospect since Darin Erstad, so they'd probably have to throw in some more pitching, and they wouldn't offer the Marlins more than one pitcher last winter for Miguel Cabrera.
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo: San Diego Padres' Jake Peavy in a game in August in Phoenix. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press