Trade Target: Jake Peavy

The Phillies have been in the market all season for another starter, but their search goes into DefCon-3 mode - at least - now. Brett Myers' ailing hip could force a move for a high-profile starter like Jake Peavy. How likely is a move to bring the former Cy Young Winner to Philly and what would the cost be?

Help Wanted: Starting Pitcher with quality resume, who wants to pitch for a contending team. High compensation is okay for the right candidate. Will give some prospects - but not all of them and possibly not certain ones - to procure help from another source. Call Ruben Amaro Jr. if interested.

If baseball had a classified ads section, the Phillies might well have placed the above ad. Their rotation was a little shaky to start the year, then Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer came out struggling, Chan Ho Park was, well, Chan Ho Park and Cole Hamels was either taking a line drive off his shoulder or twisting an ankle trying to make a play. That left Brett Myers as the dependable one in the rotation and that dependability went out the window when he limped off the field Wednesday night and a later MRI showed issues with his right hip.

Blanton has broken out of his slump, Moyer is looking better, but isn't out of his slump. Hamels is still in one unbroken piece and Park has been replaced by the man who should have been the fifth starter from day one. Still, there is an urgent need for one quality starter.

Jake Peavy has been the top target of teams since the offseason and the interest of other clubs hasn't waned even as he's vetoed a move that would have sent him to the Chicago White Sox. The Phillies are one of the teams mentioned as suitors, but Peavy has remained mum on his potential desire to pitch in Philadelphia. His agent, Barry Axelrod, wouldn't say much about Philadelphia when Phillies.com writer Todd Zolecki asked whether Peavy would pitch for the Phillies, only saying. "I have not discussed Philly with Jake because nobody has asked us to discuss Philly. He has a strong preference to play in the National League. He also wants to play for a contender. Both of those two things play into Philly's hands. The personnel is awesome. If there is one downside, it's the geographical difference for him, given that he has made his family home in the San Diego area."

Axelrod didn't mention the fact that Citizens Bank Park isn't exactly pitcher friendly, and it's not known if Peavy would be interested in pitching in a hitter's park.

Peavy will have to be very happy with where he would wind up. After all, he has a no-trade clause, which he plans on using to its full extent, he's pitching in a pitcher's ballpark in San Diego and he's got his family pretty well established there, in one of the more beautiful places to live in the country. And now that the Padres are winning a few games, he may not be in quite as much of a hurry to get out. In other words, he's going to be very picky about where he would accept a deal to.

If the Phillies were to get Peavy, they would inherit his no-trade clause, making it tough for them if they wanted to unload his contract before it ends after 2012 (or 2013 if whoever has him at that point picks up the $22 million deal for that final season.) Peavy is making an agreeable $11 million for this season, but his "new" deal that he signed with the Padres in December of 2007 kicks in next year with the big bucks, paying him a guaranteed $52 million for three seasons or $70 million for four. Those numbers may be a little higher than the Phillies would want to go. Peavy's full no-trade clause actually ends after 2010 and he can then name 14 clubs in 2011 and 8 clubs in 2012 that he won't accept a trade to.

For the record, Peavy turns 28 on Sunday.

While the financial cost is high, the cost in prospects would also be very high for Peavy.

You have to figure that Jason Donald would be a goner, since the Padres could use help at short. At least one of the best pitching prospects - Carlos Carrasco, J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek or Joe Savery would be required for the deal to have any hope of getting done. Possibly, two of them would have to be put into the deal or a lower-level starter like Michael Stutes, Vance Worley or Antonio Bastardo would also have to be in the package. In other words, something along the lines of Donald, Carrasco, Stutes or Werley and another prospect like Lou Marson or Travis D'Arnaud would have to make up the package for Peavy.

Remember, Joe Blanton cost the Phillies a top prospect (Adrian Cardenas), a very good prospect (Josh Outman) and a fair prospect (Michael Spencer) last season and Blanton is no Jake Peavy.

There are a lot of obstacles in the way of Peavy coming to Philadelphia, so the odds of him becoming a Philly aren't great. On the upside, GM Ruben Amaro has done a nice job during his tenure as the head man for the Phillies and stranger things have happened. Worst case scenario would be for the Phillies to get bogged down negotiating a deal for Peavy and lose out on another quality starter because of their pursuit of Peavy. For that reason, the Phillies may look to acquire slightly lower profile starters, especially if they can get one of those deals done in a timely manner.



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