Now that Jake Peavy has rejected a potential deal to the White Sox, it may come down to the Cubs and the Cardinals in the battle for his services.
According to ESPN's Peter Gammons, the Braves are probably no longer interested in the Padres ace following their acquisition of pitching help through free agency. Since Peavy wants to play in the NL and he wants to pitch for a winner, that leaves only a handful of clubs. The Dodgers, Mets and Phillies are logical possible landing spots. But none of those clubs seem to be actively looking for a high dollar starter.
It would be something of a surprise to see the Cardinals cough up the prospects and the $15 million, $16 million and $17 million Peavy will earn over the next three seasons... Not to mention the $22 million 2013 option he wants to be exercised if he is dealt. But, in a lot of ways, the deal would make sense for the Cardinals.
First, the Birds are about $11 million under last season's payroll right now, which gives them the flexibility to nearly swallow Peavy's contract whole. But they won't have to, because they will shed Joel Pineiro's $7.5 deal at the end of the season and they could get rid of Todd Wellemeyer's $4.05 million, too, if they wanted.
There is a lot to be said for having a dominant pitching staff. The Cardinals would isolate themselves a bit from the constant threat of Chris Carpenter going on the shelf. And when Carp is healthy, they would have the most formidable rotation in the NL... If not all of baseball... Even if they fill the four and five holes with a budget guy and Mitchell Boggs.
It would greatly change the complexion on this season. The Cardinals were holding things together with duct tape and bailing wire when Carpenter was out for a month. Now, they would suddenly have a dominant rotation that would match up favorably with anyone in a three-game set...
The back end of the rotation would be that much better because of the sudden competition for the four and five spots. Theoretically, the way things are right now, I see Todd Wellemeyer moving to the bullpen. If someone gets hurt, forget the Memphis shuttle. Bring Wellemeyer back to the rotation.
My biggest concern about is his alleged demand his $22 million option be exercised and that he wants an opt out clause added to the deal. If I was in charge at Busch Stadium, I would be willing to accept Peavy's no trade clause if he was willing to honor the rest of his deal as written... The option remains an option and no opt out clause. After all, how can you expect a club to deal several prospects for you and then let you walk away after a half a season or a season and a half?