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Now that Jeff Moorad has taken over the Padres, and has some indeterminate amount of control over player personnel decisions, he was bound to start getting peppered with Jake Peavy questions. And here are his first thoughts. The good news: he’s clearly willing to move Peavy.

“[Jake] Peavy has been a terrific performer for the club at the same time I don’t think any player is untouchable. I think at some point I am sure Kevin Towers and I will visit about the issue and Kevin will have a point of view and frankly I’ll defer to it. I certainly want to be kept informed but I think Kevin will have a perspective on the Peavy situation and I really looking forward hearing it.”

The rub: it’s fine and dandy to defer to the General Manager (Kevin Towers) on player personnel moves, but ultimately, the owner signs the chceks. So if you ask a GM, unfettered, would you like to keep Jake Peavy, the answer will, of course, be yes. So defering to Towers on this one will only work for so long.

Jake Peavy is young enough to be the centerpiece of rebuild. But after next year, he becomes ungodly expensive. Were he to be making this year what he’ll be making in two years, his salary would be nearly 50% of the Padres’ payroll. Obviously something is going to have to change. Either Peavy will be moved, or the Padres will recommit to having a payroll commensurate with paying a star like Peavy.

Incidentally, I was in San Diego this weekend (just a mini-vacation – I’m not, like, important) and my wife and I took a stroll to Petco Park. It really is a beautiful stadium. As we rounded the park, my wife noticed two large banners hanging on the facade – pictures of the last remaining true stars on the Padres: Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez. Because it looked like others had been removed, I joked with my wife that whoever the guy is whose job it is to move those banners must have spent all winter thinking “please don’t trade Jake Peavy, please don’t trade Jake Peavy.”

It was funny (I promise), but it highlighted the only remaining reason the Padres have to hang onto Peavy: when that banner goes away, so does 50% of the reason fans have for coming out to Petco.

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