Finally, the Padres might have a good idea.
What you are about to read might not make sense and certainly won't be popular, but it must be said: Trading Jake Peavy now is the right thing for the Padres to do.
Peavy is a Cy Young Award winner, a certifiable ace in the prime of his career. Even if Trevor Hoffman comes back, Peavy is the new face of the franchise. At least, he would be, if his contract wasn't so darn good. Whoever lands Peavy will have control of his salary for at least four, maybe five years, at a minimum of $60 million. That's like finding an original Picasso at Cost Plus World Imports.
C.C. Sabathia, who won the Cy Young the same year as Peavy, is about to get well over $100 million as a free agent. Plus, any team that signs him is going to have to give up premium draft picks. Trading for Peavy is cheaper and much more desirable, which puts the Padres in the catbird seat for a change.
You see, right now the Padres can demand pretty much anything they want, and they'll probably get it. That would include at least four premier prospects who are either Major League-ready or darn close. The Padres have a ton of holes to fill, and this one deal could take care of half of them. A few years ago, the Marlins dealt Josh Beckett and got four prospects -- including All-Star slugger Hanley Ramirez -- in return. Florida was in the playoff hunt until the final week of the 2008 season. In 2002, the Expos thought they could make a playoff run, so they plucked Bartolo Colon out of Cleveland for a prospect package that included All-Star outfielder Grady Sizemore and left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee (who's going to win the Cy Young in a couple weeks).
Neither Beckett nor Colon had the resume or the financial appeal that Peavy does. If the Padres play this right, they'll be set up for a decade. Of course, with this organization, that's a big "if."