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Friars in no rush to deal ace Peavy

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1Friars in no rush to deal ace Peavy Empty Friars in no rush to deal ace Peavy on Thu 23 Oct 2008, 9:55 pm

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SAN DIEGO -- There won't be any movement on the Jake Peavy front in the next week or so, though that has nothing to do with the moratorium by the league office on teams making major announcements during the World Series.
Postseason or not, the Padres are taking time to pause as they step back from a frenzied two-week stretch that has had general manager Kevin Towers busy reiterating that Peavy isn't officially on the trading block.

But that certainly doesn't mean the Padres aren't listening to offers for Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner.

"There's certainly a lot of interest from other clubs," Towers said. "But we've slowed it down the last three or four days because, after doing some fact-finding, and talking with other teams, I didn't want to go further until I got the go-ahead from Jake."

Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, has said Peavy's preference is to play in the National League, though it's not a foregone conclusion that he wouldn't waive his no-trade clause to play for an American League team.

Towers and Padres CEO Sandy Alderson will sit down with Axelrod in the next week to disclose some of their preliminary findings and offers. They will also discuss the direction of the team moving forward to 2009.

"I spoke to him [Axelrod] and told him we would like to slow the process down," Towers said. "It is so he can relay to Jake what the Padres will look like moving forward and give them a chance to review other organizations."

After that meeting, Towers hopes to have a better idea where Axelrod and Peavy -- who has a limited no-trade clause -- stand, as well as which teams the 27-year-old Peavy might be amenable to playing for.

"I want to know who I can engage before I go up there," Towers said about the Nov. 3-6 general manager's meetings in Dana Point, Calif.

Atlanta figures to be the best possible trading partner for the Padres, as they are actively seeking a front-line starting pitcher. Peavy, who is from nearby Alabama, could be a nice fit in the Braves rotation.

The Cardinals, once considered a good trading partner, are apparently out of the Peavy sweepstakes, as are the Astros, who don't have the inventory of prospects or the Major League-ready talent the Padres would command in return for Peavy.

The Dodgers and Cubs, who have also had preliminary talks with the Padres, could also be considered, though Towers isn't too keen on the idea of seeing Peavy in Dodger blue, especially since the division rivals face each other 18 times per season.

The Braves also have the kind of prospect package and even Major League-ready talent to make a deal feasible. Atlanta could move second baseman Kelly Johnson or possibly 25-year-old Yunel Escobar, though they're not actively shopping Escobar.

Minor League center fielder Jordan Schafer is a player that intrigues the Padres. Schafer is a five-tool player who, according to some scouts, compares favorably to Cleveland's Grady Sizemore. Schafer missed 50 games this season due to a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Two right-handed pitchers, Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen, are very highly-regarded. Hanson, 22, is regarded as the Braves' top pitching prospect. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League and is 2-0 in three starts and hasn't yielded an earned run.

While combining to go 11-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 25 starts with Mississippi and Myrtle Beach this year, Hanson positioned himself as a candidate to fill one of the spots in the Braves rotation in 2009.

Medlen saw his stock rise this season after moving from the bullpen to the rotation. He was 7-8 with a 3.52 ERA at Double-A with 27 walks in 120 1/3 innings.

The Padres have had scouts watch Hanson and Medlen during the Arizona Fall League on multiple occasions this fall.


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