Peavy cites family in nixing deal
Ace to elaborate on rejected trade after Friday start vs. Cubs
SAN DIEGO -- Never short for words or time for reporters, Jake Peavy reeled off an ad-libbed statement Thursday that effectively ended any speculation that he would waive a no-trade clause to accept a trade to the Chicago White Sox.
"I know it's been a crazy 24 hours with a lot of speculation of what's going on," Peavy told reporters inside the home dugout at PETCO Park. "Right now, this [San Diego] is the best place for us [him and his family] to be."
Just like that, Peavy shot down a potential deal between the Padres and White Sox after the two sides reportedly agreed to a deal in principle that would have sent the 2007 Cy Young Award winner to a White Sox team looking to bolster its rotation.
So why did he say no?
Peavy said he would talk more at length about his decision to turn down the deal after his start Friday against the Cubs. Oddly enough, it was those Cubs who made a serious run at trading for Peavy in the offseason.
Other than family considerations, Peavy wouldn't say Thursday why he chose to stay with the Padres, the only organization he has ever known. But there are several factors that might have swayed him to stay put.
Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, like Peavy, has said repeatedly that Peavy's preference is to remain in the National League because he enjoys the entire game, from running bases to hitting to, of course, pitching, where he's won 57 percent of his decisions and posted a 3.27 ERA since 2002.
The staying-where-he's-comfortable theory wasn't one that was lost on former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, a teammate of Peavy's up until this season when he signed with Milwaukee.
"He wants to pitch in the National League," Hoffman said. "This is just San Diego's way to force it, by airing it out, make him look bad. To do it the way they did, they're trying to force his hand."
There is also the consideration that Peavy, an Alabama native, and his family purchased a house in Southern California just a year ago, north of San Diego, and two of his children enrolled in school there.
Of course, there's also the matter of Peavy's contract.
In December 2007, Peavy signed a three-year, $52 million extension with the Padres. That contract will pay Peavy $11 million this season, $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012. There is also a $22 million club option for 2013 that has a $4 million buyout.
When Peavy was actively being shopped by the Padres -- who were looking to trim their payroll from $73.6 million to $40 million -- the number of serious suitors in the game for the right-hander amounted to but one team, the Cubs.
Why did Peavy say no to the White Sox? That wasn't something players in the clubhouse were wondering before the game. They were just happy Peavy was still a teammate of theirs.
"It's sweet. ... I didn't want him to go," Padres closer Heath Bell said. "If it were up to me, I wouldn't go to the American League, either."
Chicago general manager Kenny Williams told reporters Thursday that he essentially understood and respected Peavy for his decision on a difficult matter.
As for Padres general manager Kevin Towers, he continued to avoid talking about Peavy altogether, a tactic he has employed since the all-too-public nature of the discussions with the Cubs at the Winter Meetings.
"We went through it this winter and I'm sure he [Peavy] doesn't like hearing things and seeing things, but that's the nature of technology," Towers said. "He's a very mature young man and knows what's going on. I can't speak for Jake but I think he'll handle it fine."
San Diego manager Bud Black didn't expect this to be a distraction for his team moving forward. Peavy and Black talked briefly after Wednesday's game about the possibility of a deal.
"Players, because of the nature of this game, are somewhat hardened to this thing [the possibility of being traded]. Players learn to put what is most important in front and that's playing the game and focusing on the game," Black said.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.