There are a bunch of different ways for a player on the market to be self-serving. Jake Peavy is trying a new one:
Politics makes strange bedfellows and so does Jake Peavy's no-trade clause, which is why the Padres ace and his agent Thursday were discussing Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar and their preference that he remain with the Braves if Peavy is sent to Atlanta.
Escobar is a good ballplayer whom the Padres have gleaned might be theirs as part of a package deal for Peavy.
“Escobar's a pretty good player,” [agent] Axelrod said. “To be honest, Jake and I have said, 'If that kind of trade gets made, who plays short for them?'”
“One of the things we will want to look at some point is, 'Who are you giving up? How much are you weakening your team to make this deal?'” Axelrod said. “If Team X trades three starting pitchers and a starting shortstop to get Jake Peavy, that lessens their chance of being a successful team.”
It's both a selfless gesture and a selfish gesture at the same time - Peavy doesn't want a trade to do too much damage to his new team, but in so doing he's also serving his own interests and making things more difficult for his current employer. It's interesting is what it is, and while I'm sure this sort of thing passes through every player's mind in any given trade, how many of them really think that hard about it? If more players didn't want to hurt their new teams, wouldn't we, say, see a few more bargain free agent contracts? Maybe this is one of the luxuries of having a no-trade clause. I don't know.
What's most important here is that, while I'm sure Peavy is thinking about this differently, he and his agent have arrived at the right conclusion. Yunel Escobar is a hell of a player. At the very least, he is, on his own, nearly as valuable as Peavy is, and depending on how you weight Peavy's 2008, Escobar may even be better. So if Peavy wants to get traded to a contender, it works against his own desires for that contender to give up a package of approximate or superior value. That's not going to help Peavy get to where he wants to go.
Shortstops who can hit the ball and play the field. They do exist. And they're freaking awesome. I don't know if Towers'll be able to pry Escobar away from the Braves with Peavy's consent in the end, but even if he can't, he's got the right idea. Aces are overrated.