General manager Kevin Towers told The Associated Press on Thursday after leaving the GM meetings in Dana Point, Calif., it's doubtful that the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner will be in a Padres uniform in 2009.
"The train's kind of left the station," said Towers, who spent parts of three days talking with other general managers about the possibility of trading the 27-year-old, who was 10-11 with a 2.85 ERA last season in 27 starts.
The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs, according to multiple reports, remain as leading trade partners for Peavy, who has a no-trade clause but said he'd consider a trade to five NL teams -- Cubs, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers and Astros.
Peavy, who signed a three-year contract extension last December worth $52 million, will make $11 million in 2009. The Padres are looking at a much lower payroll than a year ago, when they spent $73.6 million on a team that lost 99 games.
According to one source, the Padres could be around $50 million and possibly lower as the team builds around a core of young players like Chase Headley and Nick Hundley, two rookies who saw extensive time in 2008.
While Towers said a deal isn't imminent, the Braves are believed to be one of the two or three teams still in the bidding for Peavy. Towers has indicated that he wants pitching and prospects in return for Peavy. There are indications the Padres want shortstop Yunel Escobar in the deal as well as young pitching, possibly Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton, according to FOXSports.com
"We're not to the point where we've agreed on who the players are coming back. We just have an idea of who's available to us and who's not," Towers told the AP. "Now it's just a matter of looking at three priority teams that are involved and trying to figure out what our optimum deal is. Some of them involve third teams and potentially fourth teams, so it becomes a little more complicated."
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres haven't asked Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, for approval on any deal yet.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.