The Boston Red Sox made the biggest move of the deadline on Wednesday, acquiring Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox in a three team deal. Let’s look at how this deal impacts each of the three teams involved.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox were able to bring back a solid haul for Peavy. The prize of this deal for them is 22 year old outfielder Avisail Garcia, a player who has been called the best power hitter in the Detroit farm system. Francelis Montas, acquired from the Red Sox, is intriguing as well. Montas can touch 100 on the radar gun, but has struggled this year in single A ball. JB Wendelken, also from the Red Sox, has been terrific closing for single A Greenville this year, and could end up as a solid middle reliever in the bigs. Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon looks similar to Jose Iglesias: a shortstop with Gold Glove potential but a weak bat. He will need to improve at the plate to have a shot at the majors, although he has shown some signs of improvement, hitting .270 through 37 games with Lowell. This seems to be a very good haul for the White Sox, as they grab a sure thing in Garcia and a few interesting players from the Red Sox. But I can’t shake the feeling that the White Sox should have held out for more. Boston has an outstanding amount of depth in terms of pitching prospects, and White Sox fans should be disappointed that they didn’t get more. Drake Britton, Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby de la Rosa, Allen Webster, Henry Owens, Trey Ball, and Matt Barnes are all high quality prospects. The Red Sox could afford to part with one of them, and it amazes me that the White Sox didn’t get these players. With so few players on the market this year, they should have been able to get a large bounty for Peavy. Even so, this trade should still give their farm system a boost. Grade: A-
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox, while giving up Garcia and reliever Brayan Villarreal. This trade didn’t strike me as particularly good for the Tigers. Despite a hot start, Iglesias really is a below average hitter. There isn’t even a guarantee he will start, as he was only acquired as insurance in case Jhonny Peralta is suspended. Obviously, if Peralta is suspended (and to be fair it looks likely that he will be), this trade looks much better. In order to get Iglesias, the team had to give up one of its best prospects in Garcia, and a solid reliever in Villarreal, who is just one year removed from pitching in 50 games for the Tigers and posting a 2.63 ERA. I think that is a better indicator of his talent that the 20.77 ERA he posted in 4.1 innings this year. He could have helped a struggling Detroit bullpen. Instead, he’ll help the Red Sox. Grade (if Peralta is suspended): B Grade (if he isn’t): C
Boston Red Sox: The Sox acquired Jake Peavy, giving up three minor leaguers (see above) and Jose Iglesias. Peavy joins Jon Lester, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront, and a newly resurgent John Lackey in the Red Sox starting roataion. This deal tells me that Clay Bucholz is nowhere close to a return, as adding Peavy if Bucholz was returning would give the Red Sox too many starters. Although Peavy has been far from his best this year, he gives the Red Sox a potent rotation that will allow them to compete for a World Series Crown. But to me, the most interesting part of the deal is what this means for the Red Sox future. Trading Iglesias opens the way for Xander Bogaerts, who may be less than a year away for the majors. Although many see Bogaerts playing third in the majors, the Sox seem to think that he can play short, and the emergence of third baseman Garin Cecchini may necessitate Bogaerts staying at short. But at the same time, it appears that the deal blocks the Red Sox from advancing their young pitching prospects. As I noted above, once Bucholz returns, the Red Sox will have six starters. Lester and Bucholz aren’t going anywhere, while Lackey and Dempster have contracts that expire after next season, as does Peavy. This leaves Doubront as the odd man out. He is not eligible for free agency for quite a while, so he will likely have to be traded next year. But even if he is traded, there is still not enough room for Allen Webster, who will be ready for the majors next year. Rubby de la Rosa may also be ready to start a game or two come September of next year, and Drake Britton also appears to be closing in on being ready for a role in the starting rotation. And Brandon Workman has looked solid thus far. Effectively, this trade means that the Sox will have to move at least one pitcher, potentially more. But having too many good pitchers is not a bad problem to have. At the end of the day, the Sox made themselves better this year and next year, while avoiding the loss of one of their better prospects, making them the true winners of this deal Grade: A