Could the Phillies and Peavy Be a Match?
He wants to play in the National League.
Hey, aren’t the Phillies in the National League? Don’t they need starting pitching?
It got me wondering: Could the Phillies and Peavy be a match?
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined comment.
“We do not discuss trades,” he said.
There are a few reasons Peavy and the Phillies could fit. Of course, there also are a couple BIG (BIG!) reasons they would not.
Let’s first look at the reasons why it isn’t completely crazy to think Peavy could join the Phillies:
- Peavy has made it clear he wants to play in the National League. The Phillies can offer him that much, but he might not be as keen on pitching at Citizens Bank Park as he is at Petco Park. But, hey, maybe Cole Hamels could make a call.
- The Phillies need starting pitching. Their starters have a combined 6.31 ERA, which is the worst in baseball. That is nearly a full run worse than the Nationals (5.35 ERA), who are second-worst in the NL. Amaro has said the Phillies won’t stand pat if the starting pitching doesn’t improve. He has reasons for that. One of them is this team’s nucleus (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge, Hamels, etc.) is in its prime. I think if the Phillies have the chance to make a move to put a championship run together, they will try for it. Why not take advantage of the nucleus’ best years while they can?
- The Phillies have the talent to make the trade. They were believed to be the runner-up last year for CC Sabathia, but the Indians wanted a power-hitting corner outfielder close to the big leagues, which the Phillies did not have. The White Sox reportedly were prepared to send top pitching prospects Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard and two other Minor League pitchers in the Peavy deal. The Phillies could match that in terms of talent. Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Kyle Drabek, Joe Savery, Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown are top-level prospects that could land somebody like Peavy.
- While the Phillies have a franchise-record payroll of more than $130 million, they have sold more than 3 million tickets this season and seem to be in better financial shape than other teams — and thus potentially more able to take Peavy’s contract. Peavy will make $11 million this season, $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012. He has a $22 million club option for 2013.
But here are a couple reasons why all this talk might be wishful thinking:
- Peavy has a full no-trade clause, so he has all the power. He doesn’t have to go anywhere he doesn’t want go. Peavy has a home in Southern California, and he likes it there. It is believed he expressed over the winter that he didn’t have interest in pitching for the Red Sox or Yankees, which might mean he doesn’t want to play anywhere on the East Coast (that’s a long way from Southern California, don’t you know). Philly might be in the NL, but it’s a long way from home. That’s a big strike one against it.
- Peavy might think pitching in the Bank is too similar to pitching in the AL. Strike two.
- Peavy might ask the Phillies to pick up that $22 million option in 2013 to make the trade happen. The Phillies don’t like giving pitchers more than three-year contracts. That would turn Peavy’s deal into three-plus seasons into four-plus seasons. That is a lot of risk for the Phillies. And consider they already have at least $95.5 million committed in payroll next season, and at least $80.5 million committed in payroll in 2011. Tack on Peavy’s deal and that’s a TON of money committed to just a few players over the next couple seasons. That would mean the Phillies would need to rely on some of that top young talent to start producing at the big-league level because the Phillies aren’t going to spend money continuously like the Yankees. But — woops — some of them have been traded to acquire Peavy. Now what? That’s Strike three.
Am I crazy for even bringing it up? (Don’t answer that.) But it’s at least fun to think about.