When it comes to trade leverage, Jake Peavy(notes) may have more of it than any player in recent memory. He lives in paradise, hurls in one of the best pitchers parks and has full no-trade powers despite not being a 10/5 guy.
And so he says that he won't pitch for most American League teams, won't pitch on the East Coast and won't pitch for any town that doesn't have at least six Applebee's, four Red Lobster and two On The Border restaurants within city limits or a 20-minute drive.
OK, so I made that last requirement up (at least I think I did) but I'm saying right here that Peavy simply has too much leverage for his own good. If he's waiting for his perfect woman — which appears to be the handcuffed-by-the-team-sale Cubs — he's going to be waiting for awhile. At this point, he's placed too many qualifiers on his future team and so he's stuck in Padres purgatory behind the Dodgers when he could be helping another team bolster its own division presence.
So can he just pick between Milwaukee and Philadelphia already?
I don't blame Peavy much for vetoing last week's trade to the White Sox. The Pale Hose aren't going anywhere, have a defense that should be come with a NC-17 warning and play in a launching pad that's going to become even more so once the warm air arrives at The Cell. The no-trade clause exists exactly for trades like that one.
But since we're more likely to see the Cubs start officially referring to themselves as the Iowa Cubs than Peavy putzing around Wrigleyville, it's time for him to look hard at both the Phillies and Brewers before deciding which team would be best for him.
Philadelphia may be on the East Coast, but Phillies fans are hungry for good pitching now that Brett Myers(notes) is out for the foreseeable future and would like nothing more than to "Take Jake." As The Fightins' point out, the Phils have the contracts of Myers, Adam Eaton(notes) and Geoff Jenkins(notes) coming off the books and have sold plenty of tickets post-World Series to pay for it anyway. Building a pitching rotation around Peavy and Cole Hamels(notes) would ensure a competitive team for the years to come and the core of position players would do wonders for his run support.
But of course, Philadelphia's "geographical difference" comes into play, says Peavy's agent, and that's enough to make you want to shake Peavy by the shoulders and yell, "Hey guy! You don't have to live there in the offseason and you're only there half of the time during the season anyway! Plus you'll have easy access to TastyKakes!"
Meanwhile, Milwaukee seems a better fit for the Alabama boy who says he prefers the Midwest. The Brewers are near the top of the NL Central and should contend all season. Since owner Mark Attanasio said he was willing to pay CC Sabathia(notes) $100 million to become a Wisconsin resident, his bluff should be called to see if Peavy's $60 million tab would be a problem. We've already seen how great Milwaukeeans can be toward an ace pitcher and Peavy's arrival would no doubt be greeted the same way as Sabathia. Plus, you know, he'd get to face Pittsburgh and Houston a lot.
Anyway, if Attanasio can greenlight the financial risk and come up with a decent package for the Padres, it's a win-win for everyone. Throw in a case of Schlitz and call it a day.
Of course, that's assuming that Peavy doesn't put any more requirements on this situation that has dominated our thoughts for much longer than it should have. What's next? 24/7 access to water-skiing? A city that offers free Wi-Fi? Access to a world-class opera?
I mean, c'mon already, Peavy ... pick!