Jake Peavy rejected his proposed trade to the White Sox earlier today. And there was much rejoicing.
The two teams had a deal in place whereby the White Sox would have sent left-handed pitching prospects Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard plus two more minor leaguers to San Diego for Peavy, but the trade needed Peavy’s approval since he has full no-trade clause. The Padres’ star seemed to be seriously weighing whether to accept the trade and move to Chicago, which was willing to assume the approximately $60 million remaining on his contract.
Earlier Thursday, in a bad sign, the White Sox were asked by the Padres, “Do you have any idea on how to persuade him?” SI.com.
Yes. Tell him the White Sox are changing leagues, giving him $150 million, and offering a harem of the South Side’s Chicago’s finest women.
So what exactly killed the deal from Peavy’s perspective?
It appears the idea of changing leagues didn’t appeal to Peavy, whose original and very unofficial list of teams he would consider included five NL teams but no AL teams (the Cubs, Braves, Astros, Cardinals and Cubs were on that original list).
In a phone interview earlier this afternoon, Peavy’s agent Barry Axelrod said, “I still think he has a strong preference for the National League. I don’t think that’s changed as a preference but it’s not a preclusion.”
The Cubs and Brewers would appear to remain as be possible contenders to acquire Peavy now since it appears he’d like to remain in the National League while playing in the West or Midwest. Axelrod said in a recent interview with SI that he likes “Middle America.”
The best news here is not that Peavy is not going to the White Sox – the best news is the “why.”
It has been widely reported, and confirmed there by SI, that Peavy likes the Midwest, and specifically, Chicago. So the fact that he rejected a trade to a typically competitive team in Chicago is telling as to the strength of his desire to stay in the NL.
From the look of things, though, Peavy’s going to be gone sooner or later. Maybe to the Cubs, maybe not. Of course, it’s who might follow him out of San Diego – Adrian Gonzalez – that might be of even more interest to Cubs fans.