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Obsessive Peavywatch: What Would Ricketts Do?

Chicago Cubs Rumors

Now that the next owner of the Chicago Cubs has been named – subject, of course, to a few perfunctory approvals and the actual negotiation of a purchase price – we can start to speculate about a Jake Peavy trade with a little more certitude (that’s a funny word – sounds like certainty with attitude).


Meanwhile, a deal for pitcher Jake Peavy remains on the back burner. The Cubs have between $8 million and $10 million remaining in their budget before they reach the magic $140 million payroll level that has been cited as their ceiling. They also have only one player to sign: a left-handed-hitting, defense-minded backup catcher, probably Paul Bako at around $500,000.

That means there should be enough room to fit Peavy in under the ’09 budget; he’s scheduled to make $9 million this year and has $63 million remaining on his contract, the bulk of it from 2010-12.

Hendry acquired five pitching prospects in recent deals with Cleveland and Baltimore, and a couple of them could be sent to San Diego in a deal for Peavy. Hendry also back-loaded contracts for Ryan Dempster and Milton Bradley for more flexibility this year. Peavy still wants to be a Cub, and the Padres still want to unload his contract. Everything seems to be in place except final approval of the new owner and a physical to determine whether Peavy’s elbow is sound.


Not so fast my fr… er, Paul Sullivan. I agree with the last paragraph that many of Jim Hendry’s moves are obviously geared toward acquiring Peavy, but you fail to mention the biggest hurdle to a Peavy acquisition – and the REAL reason the Hendry had to wait for the new owner. Ooh, do I make you click after the jump to find out? Nah. I’ll just front page it.

The 2010 and beyond payroll.

Yes, back-loading deals for Dempster and Bradley would help with taking on Peavy’s payroll THIS year, but this year was never the problem. Then penchant for back-loading has left the Cubs with a glut of payroll in 2010 and beyond (until contracts like Soriano’s, Ramirez’s, Lee’s, Dempster’s, Lilly’s, Bradley’s, and Fukudome’s – holy shit that’s a lot – expire).


Thus, Hendry had to wait for the new owner to approve taking on Peavy’s escalating salary after this year. That’s what we should be hoping Ricketts is willing to do.


Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.