Hughes and Melky for Jake Peavy?

Part 3: Miguel Tejada and the Third Base Hole
Torre's memoir to hit shelves in 2009

It’s a rumor that Buster Olney reports on his blog today:

In other words, a lot of conversations that go along these lines: This is how I see a deal working for me, and this is how I see it working for you. It is within this vein that the Padres and Yankees talked briefly about a possible deal that almost certainly won’t happen (Jake Peavy for Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera), and it’s within this vein that teams are now openly shopping their best and youngest pitchers.

My Hughesian bias says no to this one, but it’s tough to sneeze at the likely NL Cy Young winner. However, Mike has a different take:

“You know, Peavy is a great pitcher – young, Ks a ton of guys, durable – but he’s NEVER won a big game…I think he’d shit his pants in NY.”

Point well taken. Mike also brought up the long-term value. While Peavy can be had for reasonable salaries for the next two years, he’s probably looking at $18 million per year as a free agent after that, while Hughes will just be entering his arbitration years. So even if Hughes isn’t quite as good as Peavy — and if he reaches his ceiling he can be as good and even better — his value relative to his salary could easily even out.

Glad to see my Hughesian bias justified by other means.

Part 3: Miguel Tejada and the Third Base Hole
Torre's memoir to hit shelves in 2009
  • Ben K.

    Wait. Wait. There’s other Yankee news that doesn’t involve A-Rod?!

    Gotta agree with you here. I don’t like this proposal and I’m glad to see it’s not going to happen.

  • NYFan50

    This is something you’d still have to seriously consider. Peavy is one of the few star NL pitchers that could probably succeed over in the AL like he does in the NL. That guy is CRAZY talented and he’s 26. You get him for 2 years before he hits the free agent market, and if you can make the trade contingent on, say, signing him to an immediate extension for another 3 or 4 years, you’ve locked him up until he’s 32. The guy’s thrown over 200 innings the last 3 years with a K:BB of 3.7.

    Yes, Hughes is cost controlled and we love him. But what if he tops out as a #3 starter? What if he tops out as a #2? Not saying he will or that the Yankees should make this deal, but if you can get Peavy and lock him up you have to seriously, seriously consider it.

  • Jersey

    Yeah, I definitely don’t ignore this (admittedly hypothetical) deal.

    We HOPE Hughes can turn out to be Peavy, but why not (hypothetically) snag the guy who IS Peavy?

  • Mike A.

    Hughes: 15-9, 4.20 ERA for $500k per


    Peavy: 19-6, 3.70 ERA for $18M per

    What sounds better?

    • NYFan50

      Mike – I like the guy that can K 200+ and pitch 200+ innings, regardless of cost. That’s who I want pitching game 1.

      • dan

        So do I, except that Peavy has gotten absolutely shelled in every big game he’s pitched the last 3 years.

    • Jamal G

      19-7 – 3.70 ERA – 1.29 WHIP for $489,500 in 2007

      19-7 – 2.54 ERA – 1.04 WHIP for 4,750,000 in 2007

      Here’s a clue, both pitchers bombed out terribly in the month of October.
      You’d be surprised at the value we already have in the rotation.

      So I ask, which would you rather want?

  • Jon

    Tempting, for sure.

    The problem is not that Hughes can’t pitch in a big game, it’s that he’s sure to get significantly worse moving to the AL.

    If he was guaranteed to duplicate his 2007 numbers, then yes, you pretty much have to do this.

    But as it is, no.

  • marc

    I said during the post for the rockies/padres game and i’ll say it again, its basic SAT’s right here: Jake Peavy is to Big Game Starter as Trevor Hoffman is to Big Game Closer.

  • Steve S

    Im skeptical of any guy who pitches in the National League and in that park. I know his splits are fine but Ive seen too many of these national league guys flop. While his stuff may translate, giving up those two guys for him now seems like a mistake.

  • Jon

    So I guess if you were watching, say the 1999 World Series, or 1998 ALCS, or the 2002 ALDS, you’d also say “Andy Pettitte is to Big Game Starter as Trevor Hoffman is to Big Game Closer”?

    • marc

      yea Jon, except for the fact that Pettitte pitchd tremendous in big games before those, no? I’ve never seen Peavy pitch big in one important game so far in his career. check his small sample sized playoff games.. 8 runs in 4ip and 5 runs in 5 ip not to mention this past year when he fuckin blew up in CO

  • kunaldo

    er….hughes and melky for santana is hard to accept, so this is a no brainer…hell no

  • Mike R.

    How does this fix the hole at third base??? I don’t get it. ;)

    All kidding aside, I agree with Mike on this one. NL west is the easiest division to pitch in and the AL East is the hardest. It’s a big jump for a guy who is gaining a reputation as the pitching version of A-Rod.

  • RichYF

    The Yanks need another starter, not necessarily to upgrade one of their best young starters. The Padres can obviously see the money issue come free agency. Why not dump now and start over? Hughes can be another Peavy in 3 years, no? I firmly believe this (I’m biased as hell), so I see no reason to “upgrade” major league talent.

    If, however, we believe Peavy > Hughes in 3 years (and going forward) as well, then you think a little harder about this deal.

    My question is why won’t the deal go through? Who isn’t getting a fair shake?

    I’d do a deal for Peavy if it included young talent that isn’t ready for the ML yet. At that point, it’s anyone they want IMO. But trading one of next year’s starters for another one not named Johan isn’t as productive as it could be.

  • steve

    “I think he’d shit his pants in NY.”


    i firmly believe that the yanks plan on letting joba kennedy and hughes all pitch for them and see what they can do.

  • DKA

    There was a team once who traded one of their young gun pitchers for a guy they thought was a couple of years further along in his development. The guy that team got back was Victor Zambrano, and the guy they traded was Scott Kazmir.

    Hell no you don’t do this trade, and why is Brian Cashman wasting his time having these conversations when he should be on his knees in front of Posada and Mo?

    • NYFan50

      That comparison is silly at best. Zambrano was never any good.

    • Jon

      Hahahaha…I think this guy just compared Jake Peavy to Victor Zambrano!

      • Evil Fox News Shill

        hahaha……funny how hindsight is 20/20, eh? do you remember what the Mets said when they traded Kazmir for Zambrano? I do.

  • Ron

    What need does this “possible deal that almost certainly won’t happen” address? We would be exchanging starting pitchers, and losing the best defensive outfielder currently on our roster. I would agree that this is a no brainer, as in NO EFFING WAY!

  • Stephen

    “What need does this address?” I don’t know if you watched much of the Yanks last season but it seems king of clear that they need a legit ace. I like Hughes but it seems to me that it best case scenario he turns into the pitcher that Peavy is now. Sure there will be doubts about Peavy coming to the AL and leaving the pitcher friendly park out in San Diego, but he’s still only 25 or 26 so he’s almost like a pseudo-prospect and there’s still plenty of room for him to develop as a pitcher. Is he a sure fire bet to step in and instantly become a 20 game winner for the Yanks, of course not. But there is no pitcher, including Santana, who you can definitely pencil in any given season.

    As to the guy who made the Kazmir-Zambrano comparison… you’re actually ready to compare Peavy to Zambrano? Really?

    • Mike A.

      If nothing else, Peavy will give the team at least one starter capable of striking a freakin’ batter out once in a while.

      • steve

        come one now. hughes has showed he is capable of striking out a batter, same with kennedy (even though it was a small sample size) and we all know joba will have his fair share of strike outs as a starter.

        i will say this though, whether its, hughes, joba, peavy, or santana, the yanks need someone in the playoffs who can dominate and get a K when they need it.

      • Count Zero

        I would argue that Hughes already fills that role. 7.18 K/9 albeit small sample size of 72.2 IP.

        But I think the consensus opinion around here was that for half his ’07 MLB appearances, he wasn’t fully recovered from the injury, so…it’s not unreasonable to project that number to rise above 8 in ’08. And he has already proven to be quite cool in his first playoff series.

        No way I do that deal. No way at all. I’m not even 100% sure I would do that deal straight up Hughes for Peavy, although I guess it would be hard to say no on any rational basis.

  • daneptizl

    You can do the hypothetical situations the other way as well. What if Peavy doesn’t adjust to the AL, what if Hughes becomes a monster. I don’t think it’s that hard to say no to this one.

  • The Scout

    I saw Hughes pitch very well under intense pressure in the post-season with the Yankee season on the line. Peavy hasn’t done that. Plus NL pitchers moving to the AL take at least a year to adjust (if they adjust). If I’m goin gto dangle Hughes, it won’t be in this deal. Santana we can talk about.

  • stuart

    hughes struck out about a batter an inning while on the big club this yr.. Peavy’s #’s are distorted because of the division he plays in and the league.. If he was in the Al east add a bunch to his ERA..

    Hughes is 21, will be 22 next yr. during the season, I am willing to gamble on my belief that he is going to be GREAT.. He is not Ed Yarnall, he has poise and great stuff……

  • Eric Schultz

    Remember, Peavy along with Santana, Sabathia and Lackey are all due to be free agents at the end of this season, so I think it is highly likely that we could end up with one of those for for ’09 and still keep Hughes. That certainly projects better for the Yanks long-term. However, if winning this year is really important, then making that trade and signing Hunter or Andruw Jones would certainly help the team in the short-term, but at what cost?

    • dan

      Great point Eric.

      Look at next year’s FA class: Santana, Sabathia, Lackey, Peavy, and Burnett (opt-out), as well as the second-teir guys (such as Byrd, Garland, Loaiza, and Oliver Perez). Not all of those guys will hit the market, but that’s an awfully deep crop to start with. The Yankees can get one of those guys without excessively overpaying, simply due to the depth of the market.

      They aren’t in a position right now to win the world series whether they have Peavy or not, so they might as well build for 2009 and not trade the next 6 years of cheap talent for two years of an expensive NL pitcher.

      • NYFan50

        Peavy is under control for 2 more years, I thought.

        Plus, you are also assuming all of those guys hit the free agent market, which they will not. Whomever trades for Santana will be sure they get an extension first, at the very least. And the other guys may sign before they hit free agency as well.

      • Stephen

        I’ve got a feeling that a fair number of those guys will be resigned before they hit the open market. (I would be really surprised if Cleveland lets Sabbathia get out) Plus if Burnett opts out that means he’d hope to get a more lucrative deal than the one he signed a few years ago. I don’t like the thought of going over 5 years 55 m. for a guy who has never come close to 200 innings in a season.

  • Yardisiak


    “..the deal includes a Team Option for 2009 worth 8M.”

    The Padres exercise that, no doubt.

  • DKA

    no, but would the logic behind either trade be that different? you’re giving up a young stud for a guy you think is a few years ahead in development. you forget the Mets were counting on Zambrano to blossom.

    • NYFan50

      The huge difference is that Peavy isn’t a guy you hope is going to blossom like Zambrano. The guy is arguably the best pitcher in the National League. He’s a stud. He’s a star pitcher now.

  • Travis G.

    i looked up Peavy’s stats expecting to see a dominant starter. not so. he’s had a few great years, but interspered has been a few merely average ones. his career era+ is a very good 119, but i was expecting to see 130 or better (johan is 141). Plus, Hughes has already undergone a year of AL East hazing (at 21), no need for a 26-year-old to do it too.

    btw, would LA take Melky, Matsui (and a B pitching prospect, e.g. Marquez, TClip) for LaRoche?

  • brxbmrs

    I’m not as high on Hughes as most here, but the only guy I think you can trade him for is Miguel Cabrera – and (a big) maybe the Yanks can get Miggy for less.

    Possibly Santana, although I don’t like the 900+ innings he’s thrown the last four.

    Peav in the AL doesn’t thrill me – don’t want him not even for Melk.

    I’ll take my chances with Hughes, Joba, IPK, Wang and hopefully Pettitte.

  • Jonah

    I think the yanks can get Peavy for Cano, Hughes, melky, and kennedy. it sounds good. Kennedy sucks big time, Melky is not needed in NY, Huhges is ok but i rather have Peavy, and Cano had a terrible season. u can sign Rafael Furcal for 2B. I mean he is a short stop i’m sure he can hav 2B. so lets make an effort to sign Jake Peavy. We can work out a deal.

  • Matt

    yankees should definitely try to trade for peavy….they can put him as a number 2 behind wang and then I think they should try to get derek lowe or sabathia to build their rotation. peavy is young, talented and reliable…hughes is barely 21 and has already had arm problems which is scary i think the yankees should def get peavy try to unload melky…yes peavy may not fare well in the AL but hughes isnt gonna be a dominant starter for the yankees anytime soon…peavy wang sabathia is a pretty nice trio plus joba and maybe pettite thats a solid rotation…all the yanks would need is another arm in the bullpen and an outfielder