Cubs fans and Braves fans can commiserate about a few things this holiday season. Neither team has had October success in years. Their favorite sons Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy continue to be snubbed by the gatekeepers at Cooperstown. And both teams' top trade target this winter, Jake Peavy, has teased and tortured them with the thought of an improved rotation for weeks. Heck, we've been droning on about that sonofabitch pitcher for two months! I'm about ready to start a new baseball blog called Please Peavy Me. It will get 1,000,000 hits a day and I can invest my ad earnings into a new hedge fund with Freddy Wilpon.
Anyway, the San Diego Union Tribune's Tom Krasovic came back from the winter meetings in Vegas with a serious baseball hangover. Nothing happened in Vegas so nothing had to stay there, except some stray In-N-Out burger wrappers. Still, Mr. Krasovic filled us in on the background to what happened with the Padres and Braves in November:
As part of Jake Peavy trade talks in November, the Padres and Braves were far along on a 4-for-1 plan that included shortstop Yunel Escobar and center fielder prospect Gorkys Hernandez. The Padres wanted the Braves to include starting pitcher Charlie Morton instead of Jo-Jo Reyes and pushed hard for either pitching prospect Jeff Locke or catching prospect Tyler Flowers to be substituted for reliever Blaine Boyer. Talks regressed from there, and the Braves later traded Flowers to the White Sox.
According to mlb.com, the Braves now would be unwilling to deal Escobar, described by teammate Chipper Jones as the best shortstop in the National League. Whether Peavy would consent to a trade to Atlanta also remains in question, though if the Cubs are out of the picture, it can't hurt those chances.
That's the problem with rumoured trades. They usually make good sense in retrospect regardless of whether or not they were cromulent to begin with, or even if they were, in fact, on the table at all. Point fingers all you want, Braves fans, but Jake Peavy would be practicing his tomahawk chop right now if Frank Wren had a little bit more chutzpah.
Cubs bloggers have even taken to creating hilarious Photoshops to keep their hopes alive that maybe, just maybe Jake Peavy would be the final piece in their super-rotation of Zambrano, Dempster, Harden, and Lilly. It's going to be a long winter for the Cubs fans who, despite cheering for a team with the best record in baseball, saw them fall flat on their face in a short series with the Dodgers. It's going to be an even longer winter for Braves fans who don't have much of a rotation beyond Javy Vazquez anyway. It's enough to make a man sup directly from the bottle.