Late Tuesday night we got word on the first “big” deal of this year’s MLB trade deadline: the Red Sox added former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy from the White Sox. As the night progressed, details emerged the Tigers were involved in the deal, landing Red Sox infielder Jose Iglesias. The Peavy part was expected, he’d been in the rumors all month but the Tigers portion of the deal materialized quicker than a Little Caesars Hot ‘N Ready pizza coming out of the oven.
It’s an unusual deal in the fact it involved a pair of first-place teams trading parts, along with Detroit shipping highly-regarded outfield prospect Avisail Garcia to a division rival in Chicago by way of Boston. The Red Sox could come to regret dealing Iglesias — even if their farm system is stocked with shortstops — if they square off with the Tigers in the playoffs. Meanwhile the Tigers could see Garcia haunt them around 20 times a year in the coming seasons with their South Side rivals. This might not be a landscape-changing deal like the Dodgers-Red Sox swap last October, but it’s ramifications will be felt by all three organizations in the immediate and distant future.
Above all this is another proactive deal by crafty Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski, baseball’s current master of the July deadline. He landed a player to fill in for All-Star Jhonny Peralta, who now seems all but assured of accepting a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis case. Had Dombrowski stood pat, the Tigers didn’t have an internal option to replace Peralta and his .822 OPS. Now they have a slick-fielding player who can deputize this season and perhaps emerge as a long-term answer at the position. In doing so Dombrowski sacrificed a player, Garcia, who didn’t have a place to play.
As for the Red Sox? Boston fans probably woke up pretty excited that they landed Peavy, but that reaction can be chalked up to the righty’s name reputation, or in Hawk Harrelson-friendly terms, the Alabama native’s “warrior spirit and heart.” Peavy is a long time removed from his Cy Young days in 2007, which was the same year Soulja Boy scored a hit on the pop charts.
Peavy’s 4.28 ERA is mediocre for a starter in the American League, however his 4.47 strikeout-to-walk rate is nearly an entire point higher than his Cy Young season. If nothing else the Red Sox landed some protection for Clay Buchholz without giving up any of their blue-chip prospects, namely Xander Bogaerts. Peavy is locked up through 2014 for $14.5 with a player option for 2015. Although he’s not what he was, you could do a whole lot worse than handing him the ball every fifth day.
Still, it remains rare to see a trade involving a pair of contenders in the same league, even if the deal benefits all parties involved.