It is that time of year again where the movers and shakers of baseball front offices convene in one area for a high stakes baseball convention. This year the focus in Nashville is directly on Johan Santana, the Minnesota Twins ace that has the Yankees and Red Sox continually upping their ante. In the past week, "untouchables" Phil Hughes of New York and Jacoby Ellsbury of Boston have both been mentioned as no longer "untouchable," each time in response to the other teams offer. The end game is this, Johan Santana will get traded and will then sign a multi-year deal making him the highest paid pitcher in baseball.
How is this important regarding the Friars? Between last years ridiculous Barry Zito contract and the impending Johan Santana contract, not to mention the major deal Carlos Zambrano made with the Cubs during the season, the market for pitchers is moving out of the Padres price range. That's why the best news of this week were reports that Jake Peavy and the Padres were nearing an extension keeping Peavy in San Diego until 2012. Barry Axelrod meet with Kevin Towers on Sunday night and it appears that they are both close to a deal, one that would pay Peavy $17.5 million a year. For the caliber of pitcher Peavy is, this is a bargain if the current pitching market continues to increase like it currently is doing. I don't think I need to tell you that having a top of the line starter is key to a teams success. An ace pitcher can be built around and at worst gives you a great chance to win every 5th day.
In other news, the Padres did sign lefthander Randy Wolf. Wolf is recovering from shoulder surgery and is expected to fill in the vacant spot left by David Wells.
Mike Cameron and Michael Barret were offered arbitration. It is believed that Cameron will turn it down, making him a free agent and giving San Diego 2 compensatory picks by virtue of Cameron's Class 2 free agent classification. As the search for a centerfielder continues it may be that Cameron will come right back here. Cameron will miss the first 25 games of next season due to his amphetamine test.
That's all for now. If anything comes out of the winter meetings, I will post it here.