Black looks back on 2009 Richard-Peavy trade
Padres manager nostalgic about right-hander's time in San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- There was a slight twinge of nostalgia Sunday for Padres manager Bud Black each time he glanced at the mound and saw Jake Peavy digging to make a pitch.
Black, on the cusp of his seventh season with the team, doesn't have to think too far to remember the days when Peavy -- now with the White Sox -- was tossing gems for the Padres.
"My first year, to have a guy win 19 games, win the Cy Young, win the ERA title, the strikeout title ... that's good stuff, that's history-type stuff," Black said of Peavy's milestone season in 2007.
"He carried us a lot that year with his performances. Our memories, San Diego memories of Jake are fond and long-lasting."
Has it really been nearly four years since the Padres traded Peavy to the White Sox as part of a five-player, Trade Deadline deal on July 31, 2009?
It was a surreal afternoon in Peoria, Ariz., on a lot of fronts, as Peavy faced the Padres, who were fronted by the very pitcher the White Sox dealt to San Diego that day -- left-hander Clayton Richard, who made his first start of Spring Training.
Richard tossed two scoreless innings as the Padres got the upper hand on Peavy and the White Sox in a 4-0 victory in a Cactus League game at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Richard was one of four players then-Padres general manager Kevin Towers obtained for Peavy, a trade that was several months in the making as San Diego tried to shed Peavy -- who had a no-trade clause -- and the remaining $48 million on the extension he signed after winning the National League Cy Young Award in 2007.
The other three players in that deal -- pitchers Adam Russell, Dexter Carter and Aaron Poreda -- are no longer part of the organization. Richard has become a workhorse for the Padres, winning 14 games in 2010 and again last season. He's made 33 starts twice in his first 3 1/2 seasons.
Peavy, 31, reached double digits in victories (11) last season for the first time since 2008. He eclipsed the 200-inning mark (219) for the first time since his Cy Young season with the Padres. He plays in the American League, so chances to see and play against the Padres are few and far between.
"It was fun seeing some of my old coaches and trainers," Peavy said, after allowing three runs in three innings on Sunday. "I had such a great time in San Diego. All the highs and the lows ... I made so many friendships. At the same time, [that] chapter of my life has turned."
The very same could be said for Richard, 29. He made 39 appearances, including 22 starts for the White Sox in 2008-09, but has done the bulk of his career work with the Padres.
"It's been quick," Richard said. "With Chicago, I was extremely fortunate with the opportunity they gave to me.
"But San Diego ... what a great place to go. It's been terrific for me."
The start for Richard on Sunday against the White Sox was pushed back to the Padres' 11th game of the spring because the team saw no need -- not with a longer spring due to the World Baseball Classic -- to get him in a game in February.
Richard, the projected Opening Day starter for April 1 against the Mets in New York, opened the game on Sunday with six balls and walked two in the first inning. He recovered well, working a 1-2-3 second inning.
"He sort of got the cobwebs off," Black said.
As far as the trade with the White Sox went, Black said it has benefitted both teams.
"You never know how a trade is going to pan out. A lot of times with trades, they need to be evaluated over time. But I think this one was probably a good trade for both teams," Black said. "We got four arms ... and you don't know how it's going to turn out.
"But Clayton has become a very integral part of the rotation, just as Jake has been for the White Sox."