An open letter to Jake Peavy

By Rich Mayor

Dear Jake Peavy,

My Chicago Cubs are currently the only team in the running for your services, and the deal could be completed anytime in the next few days. From everything that’s been reported, the trade could get extremely complicated. Possibilities include the Cubs trading Mark DeRosa (who I love) to the Philadelphia Phillies to clear his salary, trading and paying for Jason Marquis (who I can easily do without) to the San Diego Padres alongside lefty Sean Marshall, infielder Ronny Cedeno, third-base prospect Josh Vitters and right-hander Kevin Hart; all for you.

The only potential blue chipper of that bunch is Vitters, a first-round, third-overall selection of the Cubs in 2007. He ranks as the top prospect in our farm system by Baseball America but has yet to see action higher than Single-A ball. The pop in his bat is supposed to be his calling card, yet Vitters hit only five long balls in 273 at-bats this year. Granted, the kid is only 19 years old and could probably hit the ball a good 350 feet farther than the best rip of yours truly, but I’d definitely take my chances on trading him for you, a dominant 27-year-old pitcher in his prime.

You’re a great pitcher, an unquestionable ace and the 2007 National League Cy Young winner whose in-game passion can be compared to a controlled version of our Carlos Zambrano. That passion would fit in extremely well on the North Side of Chicago, a place that loves seeing the desire of its players on the field match the desire of the fans in the stands, as well as a place that doesn’t want to see its team fold like Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters again.

If baseball was the Atlantic Ocean, your Padres would be the Titanic on the early morning of April 15, 1912. Your current owner, John Moores, is in the middle of a brutally public divorce from his wife, Becky. The fate of the franchise rests in the hands of their lawyers, and because of this, Moores has instructed Towers to slash payroll. You are his top priority, seeing that you’d take up a quarter of the team’s payroll next year if you weren’t traded.

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One of my best friends lives in San Diego, minutes from the ballpark you’ve called home since your major league career began. He and I trade comments about our teams when there’s reason to, and our last discussion about the Padres consisted of tremendous depression and hopelessness on his part.

This conversation concluded with a discussion of new teams he’s going to adopt as his own until the Padres begin to show signs of life again, which may not be for another few years.

Thus is Padre Nation’s state of mind, one I’m sure you no longer want to be a part of, and one the Cubs should be chomping at the bit to take advantage of.

Initially, I didn’t want to see you in Cubbie blue next year. My argument was based on the fact that the new fad in baseball, which really should always be the fad in baseball, is teams drafting and developing their own players, a la the Tampa Bay Rays.

I had heard many different names that could potentially be moved to acquire you – studs like Jeff Samardzija, Rich Harden and Carlos Marmol, nice role players like Cedeno and Marshall, and a talent that I haven’t given up on yet but soon should, Felix Pie – and I didn’t want to see them go. Granted, the point of a trade is to give something to gain something, but losing three or four guys that can legitimately contribute to another great (regular) season for one guy is a tough thing to swallow.

But a potential rotation of you, Big Z, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Harden next year? It would be the best in baseball, hands down.

You must love the idea of pitching with those guys, a great blend of experience and overpowering stuff. You must love the idea of being only two hours from the acres of land in southwestern Illinois you recently purchased with your friend Roy Oswalt, for hunting purposes. You must love the idea of playing in a city that pays more attention to what’s occurring on the field than doing the wave or hitting a giant beach ball. You must love the idea of being close enough to make routine trips to the U of I, specifically KAM’S, to party with us as you have in the past.

Well Jake, and I’m speaking for Cub fans on campus and on the North Side of Chicago when I say this: We would love to have you.

Rich Mayor is a junior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]