The baseball off-season will prove to be very interesting.
First, it will be interesting to see, as a bigger recession seems to be on the horizon, how much the advertisers and season-ticket holders re-up, and how much merchandise is sold during the holiday season. Those indicators will affect what teams might be willing to pony up both for free agents and on long-term deals for budding stars.
Second, Jake Peavy, the Padres' ace, is on the block. Buster Olney of ESPN.com writes about which teams might be interested in him.
I think he leaves two important teams out.
One is Tampa Bay, an excellent team with so many outstanding prospects that it can't probably bring them all up to the majors at once. Life, after all, is demographics, so if you bring up players who are close to the same age and close to having the same number of years to free agency, you could have numbers problems down the road. Even if you're Tampa Bay, you're well run, and you've signed up some of your stars to long-term deals already. So, you're flush with prospects, you probably could use a bona fide #1 starter (even if you have a few studs in your pipeline -- David Price among them -- who project really well). You might be willing to trade a few prospects -- the Rays also have some good outfielders in the minors -- to get a #1 starter and a real stopper. That trade could make an excellent team even tougher to beat.
The second is the New York Mets, who obviously have chemistry, starting pitching (as in aging) and bullpen issues. There are some in New York who think that the Mets need to reconfigure, and, if the Mets go that route, the Mets and Padres could create a blockbuster that involves Jose Reyes as the big name for the Mets and Peavy as the marquis name for the Padres. Omar Minaya, the Mets' GM, likes to get into the mix and isn't shy in his hunt for excellent players. The Mets' probably need to make some changes, but peddling Reyes or David Wright seems risky to me.
Peavy is an excellent starter, and he could make a team a whole lot better. I like Olney's other suggestions, and it also is most reasonable to see Peavy going up the San Diego Freeway to Los Angeles in exchange for a bunch of prospects.