The Mitchell Report – Players Cited

•December 13, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The Mitchell Report, released earlier today, has created an intense fervor of activity in the blogosphere. As I was checking blogs today, I must have seen at least fifty posts from unique individuals dealing solely with the Mitchell Report. It’s quite fascinating. Biggest names on the list are probably Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, Gary Mathews, Jr., and Roger Clemens; it remains to be seen how Bud Selig, major league baseball, and fans will react in the near future to this report. I’m going to be pretty boring and just reproduce all the players cited in the Mitchell Report. The following is taken from ESPN.com:

According to the Mitchell Commission report, here are players mentioned and how they are linked to performance enhancing substances:

Information Learned During this Investigation Concerning BALCO and Major League Baseball (8 players/ 3 active in MLB in 2007)
From the report: “I requested interviews of all the major league players who had been publicly implicated in the BALCO case.”

    Marvin Benard
    Barry Bonds
    Bobby Estalella
    Jason Giambi
    Jeremy Giambi
    Benito Santiago
    Gary Sheffield
    Randy Velarde

Information Regarding Purchases or Use of Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball (53 players/ 18 active in MLB in 2007)
From the report: “The following discussion is organized in roughly chronological order. Records do not exist to document every transaction described by witnesses. [Kirk] Radomski stated that, with one exception noted below, the payments he received from professional baseball players were for performance enhancing substances, as opposed to personal training or other services, and this assertion was confirmed by those players who agreed to speak with us about their dealings with him.”

    Lenny Dykstra
    David Segui
    Larry Bigbie
    Brian Roberts
    Jack Cust
    Tim Laker
    Josias Manzanillo
    Todd Hundley
    Mark Carreon
    Hal Morris
    Matt Franco
    Rondell White
    Roger Clemens
    Andy Pettitte
    Chuck Knoblauch
    Jason Grimsley
    Gregg Zaun
    David Justice
    F.P. Santangelo
    Glenallen Hill
    Mo Vaughn
    Denny Neagle
    Ron Villone
    Ryan Franklin
    Chris Donnels
    Todd Williams
    Phil Hiatt
    Kevin Young
    Mike Lansing
    Cody McKay
    Kent Mercker
    Adam Piatt
    Miguel Tejada
    Jason Christiansen
    Mike Stanton
    Stephen Randolph
    Jerry Hairston, Jr.
    Paul Lo Duca
    Adam Riggs
    Bart Miadich
    Fernando Vina
    Kevin Brown
    Eric Gagné
    Mike Bell
    Matt Herges
    Gary Bennett, Jr.
    Jim Parque
    Brendan Donnelly
    Chad Allen
    Jeff Williams
    Howie Clark
    Exavier “Nook” Logan

Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball (16 players, 8 active in MLB in 2007)
From the report: “Since the initial news reports of the raid by New York and Florida law enforcement officials on Signature Pharmacy and several rejuvenation centers, the names of several current and former major league players have appeared in the media as alleged purchasers of performance enhancing substances through these operations. These include:”

    Rick Ankiel
    Paul Byrd
    Jay Gibbons
    Troy Glaus
    Jose Guillen
    Jerry Hairston Jr.
    Gary Matthews, Jr.
    Scott Schoeneweis
    David Bell
    Jose Canseco
    Jason Grimsley
    Darren Holmes
    John Rocker
    Ismael Valdez
    Matt Williams
    Steve Woodard

Yankees Finalize 10-Year Contract with Alex Rodriguez

•December 13, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The contract between the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez has been negotiated for a few weeks now, but today the 10-Year, $275 million contract was finalized. Read why A-Rod’s multi-year contract makes sense for the Yankees here. The New York Yankees website released the following press release:

The New York Yankees announced today they have signed third baseman Alex Rodriguez, three-time American League Most Valuable Player, to a 10-year contract.

Rodriguez, 32, established career-highs with 143 runs and 156 RBI in 2007 while hitting .314 (183-for-583) with 54 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 158 games with the Yankees. He became the first player in Major League history to record at least 140R, 50HR, 150RBI and 20SB in a single season, earning his second American League Most Valuable Player Award in four seasons with the Yankees, as well as Baseball America and The Sporting News “Player of the Year” honors.

In 2007, Rodriguez led the Majors in runs, home runs and RBI, joining Babe Ruth (1920-21, 1926), Ted Williams (1942) and Mickey Mantle (1956) as the only players to finish a season with the outright Major League lead in each of those three categories in a single season since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 (credit: Elias Sports Bureau). He also paced the A.L. in slugging percentage (.645) and total bases (376), ranked second with 85 extra-base, fourth with a .422 on-base percentage and tied for seventh with 95 walks.

The 11-time All-Star has hit 518 career home runs for sole possession of 17th place on baseball’s all-time list. He has hit at least 50HR in three separate seasons (54 in 2007; 57 in 2002; 52 in 2001), becoming the fourth player in Major League history to have three or more seasons with 50 home runs (Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa each did it four times). He is also one of only three players in Major League history, along with Willie Mays and Barry Bonds, to record at least 500 career home runs and 250 stolen bases.

Over his last four seasons — all with the Yankees — Rodriguez has led the club in runs (492), home runs (173), RBI (513), on-base percentage (.403), slugging percentage (.573) and games played (629). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only player to hit more home runs for the Yankees over a four-season span was Babe Ruth, whose highest four-year total was 209 from 1927-30. Over the last 10 seasons (1998-2007), no Major Leaguer has hit more home runs, recorded more RBI or scored more runs than Rodriguez (454, 1,275, 1,241). He is also the only player in Major League history to reach 35HR, 100 runs and 100 RBI in 10 consecutive seasons (1998-2007).

His 54HR in 2007 established the Yankees franchise record for most homers by a right-handed batter and were the most homers by any Yankees player since Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961. Rodriguez also established a Major League record with 52HR from the third-base position (two as DH), surpassing the mark of 48 shared by Mike Schmidt (1980 with Philadelphia) and Adrian Beltre (2004 with Los Angeles-NL). His 156 RBI in 2007 was the second-highest single-season total by a right-handed hitter in Yankees franchise history behind only Joe DiMaggio’s 167 in 1937 while his 143 runs scored was the highest single-season total in the A.L. since the Yankees’ Rickey Henderson scored 146 runs in 1985 and the second-highest single-season total by a Yankee in the last 70 years (since 1938).

Rodriguez was the #1 overall selection by the Seattle Mariners in the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He was acquired by the Yankees from the Texas Rangers on February 16, 2004, in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (INF Joaquin Arias).

The Mitchell Report Coming Soon

•December 13, 2007 • 1 Comment

The Mitchell Report is slated to be released in less than 12 hours. There is a lot of noise in the blogosphere about this report, and what this report will do to baseball and its players. Sources indicate that there will be between 60 and 80 names in the report.

One column that is pretty interesting is by Tim Brown, for Yahoo! Sports. In his piece, he asserts that “Life, as a fan, will go on. Four years in, the game’s steroids crisis has not cost the industry a single ticket.” Basically, the game will go on. Read the story on Yahoo! or just see the full-text article presented below.

Mitchell Report Won’t Cripple the Game – by Tim Brown

Presumably, George Mitchell stood in line at Kinko’s yesterday, quietly choosing between the black or blue report cover.

Black, for the solemnity of the occasion, the release of what Mitchell learned – or will reveal – of two decades of illicit drug deals, needle marks and deceit in baseball.

Blue, for the gaily indefatigable game that steps over the bodies of its fallen, and whistles into cloudless skies and soaring revenues.

Mitchell, the former Senator, the Boston Red Sox director on leave, the guy who brought peace to Northern Ireland but had a hard time getting a single middle infielder to rat out even one bloated teammate, will release his findings in a Midtown Manhattan ballroom today.

Major League Baseball officials (though apparently not MLB Players’ Assn. officials, who weren’t particularly gracious during the process) were given a couple days to review the report, sigh deeply and run their fingers over their temples before the public received its gawking privileges. A few who’d taken a peek revealed few details, but shrugged in a way that suggested the report wouldn’t go down with “The Boys of Summer” as one of the game’s inspiring non-fiction reads, but neither would it cast baseball into WWE territory.

After the four years baseball has just endured, since BALCO, Congress and Hammerin’ Hank Waxman, grand juries and dancin’ Barry Bonds, and the likes of Ken Caminiti, Rafael Palmeiro and Jason Grimsley, the thinking went, what’s a several dozen more names to a steroid-hardened public? Just, more.

So, only a few more hours to assume your favorite player didn’t become so on a regimen of Winstrol, greenies and masking compounds.

A few more hours before we’re reminded steroids aren’t just fuel to overtake Roger Maris, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, but to get off the island, climb out of A-ball, someday and somehow cash a big-league check, keep pace with the fraud one locker over.

As Mitchell’s 21-month investigation – sponsored by baseball’s 30 owners, enforced by Bud Selig, fluffed by former Mets clubbie Kirk Radomski – comes to a close, maybe it is important to remind ourselves there will be no single truth. If there are 100 more names to catalog, there also will be 100 man-made decisions, reached separately. These men will be greedy, lazy, afraid, weak, corrupt and insecure.

In that, they’ll be together. It will be theirs to bear.

And if they are anywhere near the primes of their careers, they’ll also be rich, famous, cheered and pampered, for as long as they can square up a fastball, life, as a ballplayer, will go on. Life, as a fan, will go on. Four years in, the game’s steroids crisis has not cost the industry a single ticket.

So, the players will get over any moments of personal gloom. The burden on one’s reputation is only as heavy as one’s next at-bat with a man at second base, unless, it appears, one happens to be named Bonds.

Remember, too, the villains will not be the old guys in the suits. They do not ride solo here. Jason Giambi alone is responsible for what Jason Giambi injects into the fatty part of his own rear end. Sandy Alderson was no more responsible for Giambi’s ass than Selig was.

And if the game’s authorities indeed tacitly enabled the steroid army with its self-serving ignorance and gluttony in the Save-Our-Sport late 1990s, how exactly does that explain Mike Cameron popping amphetamines like they were sunflower seeds a decade later? What’s the statute of limitations on personal accountability?

Pre- or post-steroids policy, by online prescription or clubhouse connection, not a single player ordered, bought or used performance-enhancing drugs without knowing – positively knowing – he was cheating.

So, we’ll get more names to bat around. We might come to understand where steroids came from before select anti-aging clinics became semi-licensed drug dealers. Selig, if we’ve learned anything from the suspensions of Jay Gibbons and Jose Guillen, will have plenty of new stuff to sort through by opening day, the players’ union will run low on appeals forms, and poor Shyam Das, the arbitrator, will have to cancel his spring-break trip to Daytona Beach.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Dr. Don Catlin works to devise a method to trace human growth hormone through urine, most of it on baseball’s dime. Turns out, the job is quite a bit larger. On Catlin’s Anti-Doping Research Institute’s website, the home-page slogan reads, “Fighting to save the soul of sport.”

We’re pretty sure baseball still has one of those, so it’s good to have Catlin out there. The game is still good and fun and worthwhile, even as its all-time home-run leader gets photographed – right, left, front – and fingerprinted.

It is also flawed and low on character, as George Mitchell undoubtedly knew going in, and will tell us more about today. And the report that Selig hoped almost two years ago would close the book on steroids, simply gets us – weary and squeamish – to the next chapter.

Miguel Tejada Traded to Houston Astros

•December 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Yet another busy day in baseball: Tejada was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros for five players (the Orioles got outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and third baseman Michael Costanzo) on Wednesday.

Miguel Tejada finally gets his wish to get traded, although that wish has occurred about two years after he made his declaration that he was unhappy with the Orioles. The Orioles, who play in the AL East, can never live up to the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Said Tejada, “I feel very happy with this trade, because it’s something that I’ve been really looking forward to.” Houston general manager Ed Wade said the Astros couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add Tejada, “The reality is when you are talking about a player of this magnitude, you have to go in with every expectation that the asking price is going to be very high and if you want to participate, it’s going to be tough.”

Tejada is coming off his worst season in the majors. In 2007, he had a 0.296 batting average, dinging just 18 homers and producing 81 RBIs in a span of 514 at-bats in 133 games. In June of 2007, Miguel Tejada was placed on a 15-day disabled list (when Tejada was hit by a pitch by Doug Brocail, whom, incidentally, the Astros signed as a free agent on November 27; talk about building-up trust in the clubhouse, huh?), thus ending his streak of consecutive games played at 1,152, the fifth-longest in MLB history.

For his career in 11 seasons, Tejada has hit 0.287 with 258 home runs and 1,033 RBIs. His home run total ranks him fourth all-time among shortstops.

Tejada is 31, and the Orioles were worried about his range at shortstop. He had resisted their efforts to move him over to third base. So he got traded instead. Actually, this trade shouldn’t be too surprising. According to Astros president of baseball operations, “We’ve talked to Baltimore off and on for two years about Tejada…Certainly in 2006. It’s sort of ongoing. Baltimore’s had a change in their administration with Andy MacPhail, and I think Baltimore has wanted to change the composition of their club. We had a lot of conversations [before]. I don’t know how you quantify close. Baltimore just elected at that time not to move him.”

Wade said while Tejada may not cover quite as much ground as he once did, the Astros are confident he’ll be solid at shortstop. Adam Everett, Houston’s shortstop this season, will become an unrestricted free agent by Thursday.

Tejada said he figures he’ll adjust easily to the National League, and that the cozy ballpark dimensions in Houston will benefit him. Expect Tejada to produce in hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park. Tejada himself was confident: “I was in Houston last week and I’ve played in Minute Maid Park in the All-Star game, so I think I’ll do great in that city.”

Tejada is not only good on offense, but he’s a solid defender as well. If you take a look at the ESPN Zone ratings for shortstops, you will find that Tejada ranked second in the AL in 2007 (ahead of Orlanda Cabrera, a 2007 Gold Glove Award winner) and fourth in the AL in 2006. Tejada has consistently been a better defender than, for instance, Derek Jeter.

It seems like the Astros are following in the footsteps of the Detroit Tigers, who earlier this month acquired Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins in an eight-player trade. The Astros’ focus seems to be the immediate future. The Astros ballclub has a wealth of talent in Roy Oswalt, Carlos Lee, and Lance Berkman. However, their farm system is pretty weak.

Where will Miguel Tejada bat in the lineup? Well, earlier this month, the Astros finalized their $16.5 million, three-year contract with free-agent second baseman Kaz Matsui, who’s expected to bat second behind new leadoff man Michael Bourn, acquired in November as part of a trade that sent reliever Brad Lidge to Philadelphia. Batting third will be Miguel Tejada, followed by clean-up hitter Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee batting fifth, followed by rookie-phenom Hunter Pence batting sixth. Finishing the lineup would be Ty Wigginton at third base and J.R. Towles behind the plate. It’s interesting to note that Berkman and Lee are the only two players in that projected lineup who started Opening Day 2007 for the Astros.

Wade had a bit more to say about his new Astros team. Wade went on to talk about rebuilding and addressing the critics about going “backward” and “rebuilding.” Said Wade, “From the first interview I went through here it was never portrayed that I was inheriting a rebuilding structure. This isn’t a club to me that was in position to have to rebuild. You’ve got a No. 1 starter [Oswalt], a middle of the lineup with Berkman and Lee, young players like Pence and Towles…I know there’s been talk that his [Tejada’s] range has gone backward. I had a chance to see Miguel play in my role as a Padres scout the last two years. His range wasn’t what it was four or five years ago. But he’s got great hands, a good arm, turns the double play well and with he and Matsui around the bag at second base, I believe we’ve got a good double-play combination.”

What of the players that the Orioles got in the trade? Scott, 29, hit 0.255 with 18 homers and 64 RBIs as Houston’s regular right fielder. Albers, a 24-year-old righty, went 4-11 with a 5.86 ERA. Patton, a 22-year-old lefty, made his major league debut this season. Sarfate, a 26-year-old righty, was 1-0 in seven relief appearances. Costanzo, 24, was acquired from Philadelphia in the deal that also brought Bourn. He hit 27 home runs in Double-A this season. The Orioles will assign him to the minors.

You can look at both positives and negatives of this trade. The Astros want to improve tomorrow, while the Orioles are playing the numbers game for the future. “That’s one of the concepts behind, in this position, obtaining five players in exchange for one,” Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. “Nobody knows for certain how these young players are going to evolve, but if you get five you start playing the percentages, quite honestly.”

At least Wade was honest in his assessment of this trade. Said Wade, “Obviously, the price of the deal is high, a little painful. We gave up some significant pitching in this deal. If you’re going to bring in a player of this caliber, you’ve got to pay the price for it.” It remains to be seen whether the Astros will be contenders in the NL Central (or playoff contenders) in 2008.

San Francisco Giants Sign Aaron Rowand

•December 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Another day, and another big free agent is off the market. Today, Aaron Rowand agreed to a $60 million, five-year contract with the San Francisco Giants. And the Giants didn’t even have to trade either of its pitching prospects (Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum).

The 30-year-old Rowand is expected to bat fifth in the lineup for San Francisco. Rowand spent spent the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. Prior to the Phillies, Rowand was with the Chicago White Sox who won the 2005 World Series. The Phillies, Rangers, White Sox, and the Dodgers (before signing Andruw Jones) all were looking into signing Rowand.

“Bottom line, I wanted to get in a spot where I would be long term,” said Rowand, who noted he considered four or five similar multi-year offers. “In this day of free agency, that’s not common-place. That’s really the thing I was looking forward to most.”

Rowand is coming off his best season yet, earning his first Gold Glove award and All-Star selection while helping the Phillies to the NL East title. Rowand batted 0.309 with 27 home runs and career bests of 89 RBIs, 105 runs, 189 hits, and 45 doubles in 161 games.

“With this move, we will no longer listen to any offers for Cain and Lincecum,” General Manager of the San Francisco Giants, Brian Sabean said. “We know the value of both individuals, believe me, maybe more so now that we’ve gone through this exercise. They might be the hottest two names in baseball.” I am not sure about hottest names in baseball (can you say Santana?), but I do give Sabean due credit.

While manager Bruce Bochy had said Rajai Davis would get a chance to earn the center-field job in spring training, Rowand was brought in to provide consistency at center field. That means Dave Roberts likely will shift from center to left, replacing the cheater, err, Barry Bonds. Winn will probably stay in right field while Davis and some of the other young outfielders share time in a reserve role. Of course, they may still be dealt, a move which Sabean is contemplating.

“I said I wanted to change the culture of the clubhouse and get back to the warrior mentality and play the game hard for nine innings,” Bochy said. “Aaron’s the type of player who can do that. He’s the type of player who can hold everyone accountable.”

The Giants have been coasting through a pathetic existence in the last few years. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2003. In 2007, the Giants had twenty more losses (91) than wins (71). The Giants haven’t reached the playoffs since 2003. The Giants are still working on completing their team, as they still have holes to fill at third base and also at first. Sabean also mentioned that he’s seeking help in the bullpen.

“We still have to address what to do at third base,” Sabean said. “We’ll wade through what the possibilities are. We’re not shutting it off.”

Rowand said he believes the Giants will contend in the much-improved division. “Boch’s goals, as far as the way he wants to play the game, the kind of persona he wants this team to have, really lends itself to the way I’ve gone about doing my business throughout my career. For me, it’s about bringing everything I have to the table every day and laying it all out there.” Rowand is a good player, playing hard. We all remember that fateful play in 2006 when he made a daring catch and hit the center-field fence at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, which fractured his nose and bones around his left eye. With that play, he has cemented himself as a passionate, determined, gritty, and respectable baseball player.

“For me, it’s probably the greatest compliment that I could get, not only from people who watch me play, but [also] from my peers,” Rowand said. “It’s one thing if you say, ‘That guy’s a great hitter’ or, ‘That guy’s a great outfielder,’ but it’s another thing to say, ‘That guy … would do whatever it takes to win every day.’ … If that’s the only thing I’m remembered for, I’d be completely content with that the rest of my days.”

Rowand, you have my respect for playing hard. But when you said that “I really, deep down, feel [that I am joining a team that] is going to be contending and reach the ultimate goal, and that’s winning a World Series,” you have lost a few points in my book. First of all, have you seen what the Padres did in the NL West? Second, the Dodgers are going to come back to solid form with Joe Torre as manager and Andruw Jones in center field. I forgive Rowand, however, as I think Rowand made the mistake that contention in the land of the Giants means not finishing last in the NL West.

Cubs Part Ways with Mark Prior

•December 12, 2007 • 1 Comment

A decision that has been long overdue: the Cubs and Mark Prior have finally parted ways.

The Cubs opted not to tender a contract to the right-handed pitcher by Wednesday’s 11 p.m. CT deadline, and Prior is now a free agent.

The Cubs would have preferred to non-tender Prior and re-sign him for less than last season’s $3.575 million and include a club option for 2009. However, the Cubs hit a stalemate as negotiations on a possible 2008 contract for the arbitration-eligible Prior  were unsuccessful. Now, Prior is looking for a new team.

Prior is everything that is wrong with baseball. Well, not everything, but a lot. This is a guy who made his debut in 2002, but has only compiled 42 wins since 2002. He has been selected to the 2003 All-Star Game, but he missed it due to injuries.

Prior’s name should be (if it isn’t already) synonymous with injuries. In 2007, he didn’t pitch at all because of shoulder ailments. When he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on March 28, he even had the guts to joke about it: “I’ll go down and help that team win, and try to make the Triple-A All-Star team and maybe I’ll get invited to the Futures Game or something.” I don’t think the Cub nation was giddy, however.

For some reason, Prior is optimistic about making a return. Said Prior, “The goal is, obviously, to come back. I expect to come back. This day and age playing, we’re fortunate to have medicine and technology that gives us a second chance.”

Again, injuries define Prior. He’s possibly even worse than Mike Hampton. Let’s quickly go over Prior’s injuries since 2004. In 2004, Prior was forced to miss the first two months of the 2004 season due to an achilles tendon injury. After coming off the disabled list Prior did not pitch up to expectations. In 2005, prior to the beginning of the season, Prior had an elbow strain that sidelined him for a few weeks. Then on May 27, 2005 he was sidelined when a comeback line drive from Brad Hawpe hit Prior on the elbow. In 2006, Prior was sidelined due to a strained shoulder; he came back, but then on July 14, 2006 missed two days due to a strained left oblique that he somehow attained in batting practice. He was sidelined the rest of 2006 season after being diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis on August 14, 2006.

John Boggs, Prior’s agent, expects Prior to be ready for the Major Leagues in mid- to late May, but told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday that “if you want to be conservative, tack a few months onto that.” I think the proper (truthful) claim would have been “tack a few years to that.”

Any team that is seriously considering Prior is seriously considering investing into fool’s gold.

Peavy Signs Extenstion with Padres

•December 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Updating the previous story, it looks like Jake Peavy will be a Padre for a long time to come. On Wednesday, the Padres announced that the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner will be getting a $51.9 million contract extension through the 2012 season, including a club option for the 2013 season.

The Padres and Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod, agreed to the deal a week ago in Nashville, Tennessee, where the Winter Meetings took place.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Peavy had an MRI exam on his right shoulder Tuesday as part of the physical, which he passed.

Peavy’s contract extension, which will run through the 2012 season and will include a club option for the 2013 season, is the largest in franchise history, by far greater than the four-year, $34 million contract Phil Nevin signed in 2001.

Because Peavy won the Cy Young Award, Peavy’s 2009 club option jumped from $8 million to $11 million. He will make $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011, and $17 million in 2012. If the Padres decline his $22 million option for 2013, Peavy will get a $4 million buyout. Peavy is slated to make big bucks, that’s for sure. His salary of $17 million in 2012 will be one of the highest in MLB, and certainly one of the highest for a pitcher. And a $22 million option in 2013 is pretty crazy; a $4 million buyout is pretty nice, too. Not to mention that in the upcoming years, Peavy has a full no-trade clause for 2010, may block trades to 14 clubs in 2011, and 8 clubs in 2012.

Peavy is currently in a four-year, $14.5 million contract with the Padres. This is a player who made just $750,000 in 2005 and only $2.5 million in 2006. In 2008, Peavy is slated to make $6 million.

“I think it sends a great message to everybody in San Diego, and I think it’s a great indicator of Jake’s willingness to stay, of the Padres’ commitment to keeping our core players,” manager Bud Black said during the Winter Meetings.

I think this is great news for Peavy and the city of San Diego. Peavy is a phenomenal player, and he is one of the best pitchers in the game. If you’ve never had the chance to watch Peavy in person, I think it should be on your to-do list. If you’re ever in San Diego during the baseball season, certainly check out PETCO Park; I think it is one of the most gorgeous stadiums in the country.