What's The Deal With Peavy?

What does trade mean for South Siders' future?

Before the 2008-09 season began, White Sox GM Kenny Williams was supposed to have turned a corner. No longer was he going to stretch payroll and careers by signing or trading for aging veterans. A youth movement -- started last year by Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez and soon to be joined this year by prospects Dayan Viciedo and Gordon Beckham -- was afoot. The core that won the White Sox their memorable 2005 World Series was too old to be relied upon for much longer; things set to change, fast.

Almost two months into a mediocre season, Williams is changing his tune. Or is he? What does the Jake Peavy trade mean, anyway?

Trading prospects -- which is no doubt what the White Sox will be trading to the Padres if the deal for Jake Peavy is consummated -- seems antithetical to the idea of rebuilding. Usually, when you're rebuilding, you're looking for one or two star prospects of your own. Williams is going in a different direction: he's agreed to dump young talent and add Peavy's large contract (Peavy will earn salaries of $15 million, $16 million and $17 million from 2010 through 2012). But for what? Do the White Sox want to win this season? Do they see the mediocre AL Central as an opportunity to sneak in a playoff berth in what would otherwise have been a lost year?

Peavy will turn 28 on May 31 Most pitchers' primes end by the time they're 31 or 32. The clock is ticking. If Williams is still rebuilding, perhaps he just found himself a centerpiece. Perhaps that aging 2005 vets will wane away, and what will be left, in a year or two, is a good young team with at least one ace starter in the hole. It's a bold move by Williams. In this instance, White Sox fans should hope "bold" isn't just a polite way of saying "insane."

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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