The Jake Peavy deal has been a part of the Cubs' offseason for weeks, bordering on months. It has gone from a speculative, no-way-the-Cubs-have-enough dream to possible to probable to maybe-going-to-happen to an absolute certainty ... and back again. And now, unfortunately, it appears to be over.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (affectionately known by many baseball internet types as Robothal, for his robot-like ability to break news stories) is reporting that the Cubs are officially done with Peavy. If it seems sudden, it is; just Tuesday, the Cubs appeared to have reached a deal that included Mark DeRosa, Jason Marquis, and a batch of Philadelphia Phillies prospects. That was the closest the Padres and Cubs ever appeared to a deal. Now? Apparently, the price was too high:
But the Cubs ultimately determined that they did not want to pay the price for Peavy — five or six players, plus the remaining $63 million on the final four years of Peavy's contract. "They were looking for a Herschel Walker-type deal," one Cubs official said. [Padres GM Kevin] Towers did not dispute that he wanted a massive return for Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young award winner. "We were asking for a lot," Towers said. "For Jake Peavy, we would plan on getting a lot."
If I was Padres GM Kevin Towers, I too would be looking to get as much for Peavy as possible, but how much is too much? What exactly does Towers want? And why weren't the Cubs able to deliver on it?
Two things likely happened: The Cubs, realizing they didn't have the prospects to get Peavy on their own, likely reached out to a bunch of teams. When the Padres shot all those prospects down, they probably looked directly at the Cubs for something resembling equal value. Jim Hendry likely disagreed. And so here we are.
The Cubs will now look to acquire that mythical left-handed outfielder (sign Adam Dunn! do it! sign him!) and whatever other needs they think they have. The good news is that the Cubs have an awfully good rotation without Jake Peavy. The bad news is how much better it could have been.