"There's certainly a lot of interest from other clubs," Towers said. "But we've slowed it down the last three or four days because, after doing some fact-finding, and talking with other teams, I didn't want to go further until I got the go-ahead from Jake."
Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, has said Peavy's preference is to play in the National League, though it's not a foregone conclusion that he wouldn't waive his no-trade clause to play for an American League team.
Towers and Padres CEO Sandy Alderson will sit down with Axelrod in the next week to disclose some of their preliminary findings and offers. They will also discuss the direction of the team moving forward to 2009.
"I spoke to him [Axelrod] and told him we would like to slow the process down," Towers said. "It is so he can relay to Jake what the Padres will look like moving forward and give them a chance to review other organizations."
After that meeting, Towers hopes to have a better idea where Axelrod and Peavy -- who has a limited no-trade clause -- stand, as well as which teams the 27-year-old Peavy might be amenable to playing for.
"I want to know who I can engage before I go up there," Towers said about the Nov. 3-6 general manager's meetings in Dana Point, Calif.
Atlanta figured to be the prime trading partner for the Padres, as they are actively seeking a front-line starting pitcher and Peavy is from nearby Alabama. But Braves GM Frank Wren said Thursday that the Braves are "looking to the future when that next wave of talent arrives in Atlanta," in direct response to a question from The Associated Press about Peavy.
The Cardinals, once considered a good trading partner, are apparently out of the Peavy sweepstakes, as are the Astros, who don't have the inventory of prospects or the Major League-ready talent the Padres would command in return for Peavy.
The Dodgers and Cubs, who have also had preliminary talks with the Padres, could also be considered, though Towers isn't too keen on the idea of seeing Peavy in Dodger blue, especially since the division rivals face each other 18 times per season.