Peavy 'dang glad' to still be a Padre
Pitcher says he feels no ill will toward team for trying to trade him
SAN DIEGO -- In his first interview since the end of last season, Padres pitcher Jake Peavy told XX Sports Radio in San Diego that he harbors no animosity toward the team actively shopping him around during the offseason.
"It's a business. I understand it's part of the game. I think as soon as the winter started, you heard my name thrown out there. There's different emotions and feelings involved," Peavy told the Padres' flagship station on Wednesday.
Playing in San Diego "is all I've ever known. I stayed out of it as much as I could. Not much has changed, other than a lot of talk over the winter. It's been a crazy winter."
Peavy will talk to reporters on Saturday, when pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, Ariz., for the start of Spring Training.
That Peavy is still a Padre is probably a little surprising to fans and possibly to Peavy as well, especially after a winter when his name was linked to two teams -- the Braves and Cubs.
First, Peavy was reportedly heading to the Braves, as general manager Kevin Towers had frequent talks with his Braves counterpart, Frank Wren. But the two sides couldn't agree on a compensation package that Towers deemed to be adequate.
Towers spent most of the Winter Meetings during the second week of December talking with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Towers had roped in a third team and was also prepared to bring in a fourth team to facilitate a deal. But on the last day of the meetings, Hendry told Towers there wouldn't be a deal.
Since then, Towers has not had active discussions with any team regarding Peavy and has said on numerous occasions that chances were good the 27-year-old would be the Padres' Opening Day pitcher.
Peavy made it clear Wednesday that he never wanted to leave. It was December 2007 when Peavy signed a three-year, $52 million extension that will run through 2012 with a club option for 2013 worth $22 million. It is the largest contract in franchise history.
Peavy, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner in the National League, will make $11 million this season.
"Absolutely I'm happy. I never wanted to be anywhere else than Peoria this time of year. I think we made that clear when we my deal with the Padres, San Diego is near and dear to my heart," Peavy said.
Peavy, who has a no-trade clause, indicated that "if I wanted to be on another team, I think we could have gone to the Padres and pressed the issue."
But it never came to that, as Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, was never presented a deal to ponder, which is perfectly fine with Peavy.
"I signed this contract with every intent of playing with the Padres," he said. "I fully intend on that. I'm dang glad to be a San Diego Padre."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.