It looks like the San Diego Padres are playing stubborn and the Braves have "pulled back" their offer for Jake Peavy. The deal would've centered around Yunel Escobar (see my profile picture) so in a way i'm "slightly" happy the trade was removed. If I were the GM for a day, this is what I would try to do with the Braves:
1. Lock up Jake Peavy - I truly believe the Braves are just calling the Padres bluff at this point. The Padres GM already said that the train has left the station, or something along those lines and Peavy isn't in the future plans. If this is true, then they will have to trade him to avoid tensions in the clubhouse next year. If I'm Jake Peavy, I don't want to pitch for a team that has already moved on without me. I believe the Padres will eventually fold and deal Peavy to the Braves for the Yunel Escobar, Jo-Jo Reyes, Gorkys Hernandez package. Jo-Jo is a California native and normally has plenty of family in San Diego when he pitches. I see him as a good fit there due to his hometown ties to the club. Yunel Escobar is an all-around solid shortstop, who wont see arbitration for another couple of years... have I mentioned he's my profile picture? Gorkys Hernandez still has to develop, but he projects as a speed/lead-off hitter for the future.
2. Sign Edgar Renteria - I know Rafael Furcal is out there, but I have a feeling he's going to command some big money to come back to Atlanta. Edgar can come back to the ATL where he felt comfortable during the entire 2007 season and slot right back into that two-hole in the lineup at a discount of what Furcal would cost. Renteria is loved in Atlanta and I think he's done with the American League (see failed stints with Boston and Detroit). This allows the Braves another year to come up with another shortstop of the future just like Yunel Escobar two years ago and Brent Lillibridge (although he's apparently in the doghouse).
3. Try to win the free agency war for Derek Lowe - He's not a big strikeout machine, but there are few pitchers that are as consistent as Derek Lowe. He's also clutch in the playoffs. The sinkerballer will be looked over as everyone salivates over CC Sabathia. Lowe posts a sub 3.50 ERA and can be a perfect compliment to Jake Peavy as a No. 2 starter. Throw in Jair Jurrjens as the #3 and the Braves are suddenly back near the top of the league in pitching.
4. Add an outfield slugger, Milton Bradley - Other than Adam Dunn, I don't see many big names out on the free agent market. To be honest, I like Milton Bradley... a lot. Yes, he's had trouble, but where else are you going to find a .325 average, 25 HR power, and an RBI machine at a price like his? Bradley has had his troubles, but then again Bobby Cox is just the coach to deal with a player like that. When Gary Sheffield came to the Braves, everyone was worried that he would be a trouble maker. Did you ever hear a peep out of Sheffield while playing for the Braves?? Negative.
5. Give Jeff Francoeur a swift kick in the... - Braves fans everywhere cringed with every swing of Francoeur's bat last season. The kid looked like he had never swung a bat in his life. After expectations of a breakout season turned into a season-long slump, I really don't know where I stand on Frenchy. There's no way you give up on him just yet, but I really hope he spent every day of this off-season working on swinging the lumber again. His cannon right arm is the main reason he stayed with the Braves most of the year (minor stint in Double-A), but he'll need to stay well above the Mendoza line if he expects to keep his job through the 2009 season.