Bold prediction: Peavy plays for Padres in '17

Fan favorite, franchise icon would provide veteran leadership

Bold prediction: Peavy plays for Padres in '17

SAN DIEGO -- The Jake Peavy-era San Diego Padres aren't coming back.

But that doesn't mean Peavy, himself, isn't.

Last month, the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported the two sides were talking about a potential reunion. It remains a distinct possibility.

• Hot Stove Tracker

With Hot Stove season winding down, there's not much left for the Padres to take care of. So as far as predictions go, here's one that makes sense on every level:

Peavy, one of the franchise's all-time greatest starting pitchers, will don a Padres cap in 2017.

Here are five reasons why.

He's a franchise icon

No, this isn't the same Peavy who won two ERA titles and a National League Cy Young Award during an eight-year stint with the Padres from 2002-09. He's now 35 and posted a 5.54 ERA with the Giants in 31 appearances last year. But Peavy's name still holds plenty of clout at Petco Park, where dozens of fans don his jersey at every game.

He brings a veteran presence

The Padres' roster, one of the youngest in baseball, would benefit greatly from a player like Peavy -- owner of two World Series rings and a stalwart on the organization's last two playoff teams. (Peavy is already beloved in San Diego. Imagine his status if he helps nurture the youngsters who play key roles in the team's next playoff push.)

He has solid peripherals

Hey, with all this talk about intangibles, let's not forget Peavy has a job to do. And there are reasons to believe he could actually do it well. His 4.36 Fielding Independent Pitching last season was more than a run lower than his ERA, indicating he may have been the victim of some bad luck on balls in play. Obviously, it's a major problem that Peavy's fastball velocity hovered around 89 mph. But we've seen veteran pitchers learn to do more with less.

Peavy's slick defense

The Padres need rotation depth

As it stands, eight starters are set to compete for five spots in the rotation. But all eight come with serious question marks, and Peavy's presence would offer some extra stability.

Chasing a milestone

During his eight-year Padres tenure, Peavy went 92-68 with a 3.29 ERA. He's eight victories shy of matching Eric Show for the franchise record. Say what you will about wins, but a club record like that holds plenty of clout. Peavy's pursuit of Show's 100 victories would be a fun storyline for Friar fans to keep tabs on.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.