Back in the deep, cold heart of winter, we put the Jake Peavy-to-the-Cubs rumors to rest. Well, not us exactly, but Cubs fans, media people, whatever. After a few months of fawning and praying and hoping and wishing that Peavy would be the latest Cubs' acquisition -- that Jim Hendry would somehow pull off an unlikely trade with the San Diego Padres -- it was clear the thing wasn't going to happen, and so we gave up. We let it go.
It is in that state which we currently reside, but of course we couldn't just enjoy that, now could we? We couldn't fight through spring training without hearing again from Mr. Peavy, who so badly wants to be a Cub he's taking interviews about it after spring games against the team. (Speaking of which, why do the Padres have to go to a spring training locale? Isn't it 80 degrees and sunny there every day of the year? Stay away from our vacation spots, you spoiled brats.)
Anyway. Peavy clearly wants to be a Cub, and he's as willing to say so as ever:
But after throwing three shutout innings against the Cubs in San Diego's 4-2 Cactus League victory Sunday—Peavy's final tuneup before starting for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic—he still sounded like a man who'd readily leave paradise for Wrigley Field.
"Obviously, Chicago was a team that I did have an interest in playing for, and I respect [general manager] Jim Hendry and the organization," he said. "I respect a lot of the players they have and feel like they have a good bunch, and obviously [it's] a great city. [Those] were reasons I identified the Cubs as a team I wanted to be a part of if I had to move on from San Diego.
"Other than doing that, I just let the guys making the decisions make them. I have no idea [what will happen]."
Of course, just because Peavy wants to be a Cub doesn't mean it's going to happen. The rumor has sprung up again, sure, but even after the Mark DeRosa trade -- which netted the Cubs three pitching prospects -- it's unlikely Hendry has enough talent to lure the ace away from San Diego. Unless te economy gets even worse, and San Diego looks to even more desperately pinch pennies, it probably isn't going to happen, at least not in a two-team trade.
That lack of talent on the farm isn't just a long-term systemic problem for the Cubs. It seems to be actively hurting them even as we speak.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.