Desperate economic times call for desperate measures.
Even in the billion dollar business of major league baseball.
But the truth is, the best players still will be paid the big bucks, whether it is pitcher CC Sabathia, who inked a multi-million dollar free agent deal with the New York Yankeees, or slugger Manny Ramirez, who has hinted at retirement if he does not receive that fat contract under his Christmas tree.
Major League owners have talked about cutting back on their overall team payroll, and they are trying to show concern when it comes to raising ticket prices for 2009.
San Diego, the Padres have been trying to unload 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy. The Padres and Chicago Cubs had serious talks during the recent winter meetings in
Las Vegas. But Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he was uncomfortable unloading the “volume” of players
San Diego general manager
Towers reportedly demanded.
"The word on the street here is the Padres are in pretty dire financial straits, partly because of the economy and partly because of a 99-loss season and partly because the owner and his wife are going through a pretty difficult divorce," said Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod.
"And the word is they cannot infuse more money into the team right now. Without that, they are looking at a team in the $40 million [salary] range. If that's the case, then it is hard to win. And I am not sure that they can go with a $40 million payroll and pay one guy (Peavy) $11 million. It is likely between now and the middle of next year, Jake won't be with the Padres."
Axelrod described Peavy as being "frustrated and disappointed" after the trade talks with the Cubs came to a halt, at least temporarily.
In the midst of this depressing economy, a lot of teams and their fans may wind up frustrated and disappointed next season.