Still a Padre, Peavy downs Cubs
Right-hander goes six scoreless innings, strikes out 10
SAN DIEGO -- The voice that normally drips with passion and intensity was noticeably hushed Friday, which wasn't surprising at all after what Jake Peavy had endured in the last 48 hours.
"I am emotionally a little worn out," Peavy said, looking the part.
The events of the last 48 hours -- his brief flirtation with the Chicago White Sox and the six innings that he threw in Friday's 4-0 victory over the Cubs -- was enough to drain even the strongest of men and pitchers.
Peavy spoke candidly with reporters for the first time Friday, a day after he resisted the advances of the White Sox, who presented him and agent Barry Axelrod with reasons to reconsider his stance of not wanting to be traded to an American League team.
In the end, though, Peavy restated that he wanted to be where he's always wanted to be, with the Padres, the team that drafted him as a 17-year-old, the team that awarded him a $52 million extension in 2007, months after winning the Cy Young Award.
"I'm happy to be here right now. I was honored the Chicago White Sox showed interest in making a bold move. But we felt this was the best decision," said Peavy, who has a full no-trade clause. "Right now, it wasn't the right time for us to move on."
Peavy also understands that the advances of the White Sox might well be a precursor of things to come, especially as the Padres continue to inch toward the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.
"As a player, you certainly see things like this happen. You understand it's the nature of the business. When it involves you, it's a big decision," Peavy said. "These last 48 hours have been difficult, but it's nothing you can't be professional about and handle.
"I certainly understand that there may be another time [when I might again be involved in trade talks]. It's no hard feelings if they come or if they don't. We'll cross the bridge when we get there."
That Peavy even entertained discussions with the White Sox was characterized Friday by Axelrod as a mild upset, considering there are no American League teams on the list of teams Peavy would waive his no-trade clause to join.
And, to complicate matters, it was the other Chicago team, these same Cubs who were at PETCO Park, who made a run at Peavy in the offseason, only to back away from a deal that appeared close in December.
"We were frankly very much taken aback when we were told there was a potential deal in place with an American League team, any American League team," Axelrod told ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "And I told [Padres GM] Kevin Towers immediately, 'Boy, that's a longshot for Jake,' and he asked if we'd be willing to listen to [White Sox GM] Kenny Williams and what he had to say, and we agreed to do that.
"I will say Kenny made it a tougher decision than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was a slam dunk 'No thank you, I'd rather stay in San Diego than go to the American League.' But Kenny made Jake think about it, I'll say that."
That's what Peavy did, taking into consideration the needs of his family and what was best for them. Also, as he's stated all along, Peavy's preference is to remain with the Padres and play in the National League.
Until a deal is struck, Peavy will continue to pitch, which is certainly fine for the Padres, who won their seventh consecutive game Friday by shutting out the Cubs. Peavy struck out 10 in six innings, allowing two hits with four walks.
"When you give up a couple of hits and strike out 10 in six innings, that's a pretty good outing," Padres manager Bud Black said.
But how many more of these will there be? The Padres are, obviously, still intending to move Peavy and his contract.
"I don't know that there is any timetable. If there is, we're certainly not in control of it," Axelrod said. "Obviously, there's a trade deadline date looming, and I think as time goes by, this trade becomes more and more difficult to accomplish, just because this is the year Jake is, quote unquote, a 'bargain' based on the way his contract is structured. He becomes less of a bargain next year and the subsequent years.
"When his salary jumps in the next three years, I just don't see how you can possibly have a single player who is making between 35 and 40 percent of your entire payroll. I just think they have to move him."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.