A trade of Manny Ram?rez, with the San Diego Padres is still looming as the No. 1 landing spot for the righthanded slugger. Ace righthander Jake Peavy, who is a five-year big league veteran even though he doesn't turn 26 until May 31, is the prize the Sox are seeking in return.
Why would the Padres part with Peavy, who led the National League in ERA in 2004 (2.27), led the NL in strikeouts in 2005 (216), was second in whiffs last season with 215, and has a contract that in today's inflated market is a steal? He's due to be paid $4.75 million next season and $6 million in 2008, with the team holding an option of $8 million in 2009 (the option has escalators that could make it worth $11 million).
In the end, maybe they won't. But there is this to consider: Twelve of the National League's 16 teams scored more runs than the Padres last season, and 11 of the 16 hit more home runs. And in just their third year in Petco Park, the Padres' attendance is off almost a half-million. The Padres have incentive to make a big, bold move, and both CEO Sandy Alderson and general manager Kevin Towers have demonstrated a keen interest in Ram?rez.