If it keeps on rainin' the levee's gonna break (Peavy, Derosa, and why I don't like Kevin Towers aka the Vitters issue)
At this hour a great deal of news has been raining down and flooding my brain. Perhaps it is the sheer amount of information saturating my brain, but I feel like I have made a breakthrough on all things Jake Peavy. All of a sudden, the news reports are much more transparent than before.
Today was a bit too much early on: the trade was on, and then off, then on again, and then off again. In the meantime you had Rosenthal blabbering about how no deals can be done until the Cubs find new ownership, despite being told the contrary for the past few weeks. Luckily, Crane Kenney came down with the wrath of God tonight and gave a subtle "f--- off" by saying [and this is paraphrased]:
The Cubs do not need approval from a potential new owner to make the kind of four-year, $63 million commitment Peavy's contract would require, nor do they have to know who the new owner will be before making such a multiyear commitment.
It seems that at this hour, the Peavy deal is down to a three team deal between the Cubs, Padres, and Phightin' Phillies of Illidelph. The framework is set, yet it seems there have been some developments since we last spoke. Marshall is no longer on the table for the deal. Moreover, according to Paul Sullivan, he has been replaced by Jason Marquis going the Padres way. The caveat to the whole thing is the Cubs must eat more than half of the Marquis de Suck's contract. I'm ok with this.
There are also conflicting reports about the inclusion of Mark Derosa. It is clear that the Phils have a very large interest in Mark, as they should. The versitility of Mark Derosa pays dividends in a situation such as this. The Phillies are desparate to fill the whole left by Chase Utley for half of a season. They have two real options:
(1) Sign Raul Ibanez to a 4-year contract at about 10-12 MM a year and suffer through him being in his 40's by the end of the contract. Move up Donald to play second base in the mean time.
(2) Trade for Derosa. Have him fill in until Utley comes back and then move him to LF or 3b (while moving Feliz to LF). Moreover, Derosa is only signed for a year, will be a Type A free agent, and is not likely to accept arbitration... meaning 2 draft picks.
Sullivan thinks that the Phils will send the Padres two pitching prospects as part of the deal (via the Cubs). My best guess would have two of the following be those pitching prospects: JA Happ (obviously), Kyle Kendrick, Kyle Drabek. I personally don't think Carrasco being one of those names. Derosa is worth a lot in this trade, but not worth the Phillies #1 prospect. I think the package is most likely centered around Drabek if anything. Kendrick hasn't shown a whole lot just yet, and Happ is projected to be one of those Mark Redman types: decent K:BB ratio, but if his control is of he's gonna get lit like an alcoholic at an open bar.
Although the transition is not great, this gets me to the topic of Kevin Towers. From the outset, KT stated that he wanted to get something along the lines of a 5-to-1 trade in return for Jake Peavy. Given his current bargaining power, I thought it was a bit ambitious, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt here... for a moment. Of this five player package, Towers stressed that pitching was important. There was nothing wrong with this desire until today.
It seems now that Towers wants to have his cake and eat it too, despite his lack of barganing power to really be able to call the shots. The only power he has been able to rely on is the power of being "transparent" to the media about what is going on in an effort to make the Cubs make a dumb move.* The most recent move involves what he told one of his reporters earlier today:
The Padres continue to like their chances of getting Cubs prospect Josh Vitters and Cubs reliever Kevin Hart, a power right-hander whose upside is that of an eighth-inning reliever. Vitters, 19, is a Single-A third baseman described by Baseball America as a potential All-Star.
Now, let me take a step back. Towers wanted five players. From what I have been able to gather, so far the package coming to SD (assuming Sullivan is right) involves 2 pitching prospects coming from the Phillies, a starting pitcher coming from the Cubs in Marquis. Those are three players, all of them pitchers. Now add to the equation that Towers desparately wants Kevin Hart and that gets you to four players, all of them pitchers. That leaves one spot open: well, that is perfect, you say, he can get Vitters as the last piece of the puzzle and the trade should happen, right? No.
Take a step back again... a little bit more towards the present where the Braves were still in contention for Peavy. It was understood that at the time the Cubs did not have the pitching Towers required to make the deal on their own. Thus, Josh Vitters came into the discussion. Vitters was to do one of two things for the Cubs: (1) He was supposed to be traded to another team for the pieces the Cubs could ship to SD; or (2) he was to be shipped to SD in lieu of pitching/pitching prospects to be either developed or spun off for pitching.
Yet, as of today, it looks like Towers is going to get his pitching pieces. Four of them. Yet he still thinks he is going to get Vitters. That sentiment defies all logic, and I think it is at best hollow posturing. From the beginning he said he wanted quality, not quantity. I think he gets the quality from those proposed (and I understand Marquis is in that statement, but a cheap, way under market value Marquis is a good price for league average).
I am undecided on who the final piece would be to set it to five players going in return to the Padres. Before the mention of JA Happ, I would have volunteered Mitch Atkins, but the two are far too similar pitchers, albiet from different sides. The Padres have been showing a great deal of interest in Phillies catching prospect Jarmarillo. I think what really would seal the deal is the inclusion of Wellington Castillo. He is fairly advanced with his bat right now, is compared to Soto (although a bit behind in defense) and has september callup written all over him. Will likely turn out to be a Bengie Molina/Dionnar Navarro type.
In an ideal world we could use Pie or Cedeno instead of Castillo. I would prefer Cedeno, but I understand the allure of Pie. However, their bigger whole is at shortstop.
In the end, we cannot expect anything to happen until late on Thursday anyways. The Padres do not want to make this trade until after the Rule 5 draft for legitimate reasons. The Padres 40-man currently stands at 37. During the Rule 5 draft, they are able to select as many as 3 players. If the Padres were to perform a 5-1 trade it would put their 40-man at 41, causing them to leave players that were once protected well, unprotected. Soon after the Rule 5 concludes, I expect a great deal movement on this trade front.
However, there is no need to include Vitters if Derosa is involved. Period.
* I kinda want to compare him to a car salesman that wants you to pay sticker price, even though the new model will be out in a day or two: he knows hes screwed, but wants to screw you first.