Now that Jake Peavy is healthy, teams around Major League Baseball are bound to start calling on the Chicago White Sox for his services.
Peavy may be the biggest star of the trade market, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. General managers have told Heyman that while Matt Garza is an attractive arm to have in the starting rotation for the rest of 2013, Peavy has more overall value since he doesn’t have an expiring contract.
One NL general manager explained the differences of the two pitchers to Heyman:
Peavy has been better than Garza except for lately and he has done it in a hitter’s park in the American League. Garza’s better for 2013, but I think Peavy has more overall value. Peavy was really good early until he got hurt.
Before landing on the disabled list with a ribcage injury, Peavy was 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA over 11 starts. He struck out 66 and walked 15 to start the season. His injury then kept him from throwing a pitch for the White Sox for more than a month. The righty pitched Saturday and allowed two earned runs in six innings.
Peavy is under contract through next season, and also has a $15 million player option if he throws 400 innings in 2013-14—and 190 in 2014—and doesn’t end the 2014 season on the disabled list, according to Cot’s Contracts. When he isn’t on the disabled list, he’s usually very effective.
In 12 seasons, the right-hander is 127-97 with a 3.49 ERA in more than 1,800 innings. He won the NL Cy Young award in 2007 when he was still with the Padres. That season, he won 19 games, posted a 2.54 ERA and struck out 240 batters in 223.1 innings of work. He’s also still just 32 years old.
The Diamondbacks are one team that may be interested in acquiring Peavy, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Arizona currently has the 17th best rotation in baseball in terms of WAR, according to FanGraphs. It will be tough make the playoffs with Ian Kennedy (3-7, 5.29 ERA) and Trevor Cahill (3-10, 4.66) pitching poorly.
Peavy isn’t the only guy who’s going to get traded this summer, though. He’s just one of many who are bound to be playing for a different club down the stretch. Here’s a look at the latest buzz surrounding two other notable names, with analysis on their current situations and the teams interested in them.
Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Francisco Rodriguez is no longer in his prime, but he’s still a versatile reliever who would be extremely valuable to a lot of contending teams. K-Rod has made 24 appearances with Milwaukee this season and has only allowed three earned runs along the way. He has also walked just eight batters in 23.2 innings.
Detroit has its heart set on landing Rodriguez, according to Olney. The Tigers have had bullpen issues all season long, primarily with their closer. Bruce Rodon didn’t work out and neither did Jose Valverde. Joaquin Benoit has been fine with eight saves and a 1.64 ERA, but he’s more of an eighth-inning guy than a closer.
Olney also thinks that Boston should look into trading for Rodriguez. The Red Sox bullpen has really been banged up this season and there hasn’t been much consistency. Koji Uehara is currently handling the ninth inning (nine saves, 1.66 ERA), but with Andrew Bailey now out for the rest of the season, per ESPN Boston, the Red Sox need help.
K-Rod was once one of the most feared relievers in baseball. He’s a three-time All-Star who has finished in the top five of the Cy Young award-voting on three occasions. He has spent the last two-plus seasons with the Brewers and in 133 games with Milwaukee, he has a 3.18 ERA with 13 saves in 124.2 innings.
Alex Rios, OF, Chicago White Sox
Peavy is sure to have some of his teammates on the trade block with him in the next week or so.
The White Sox have struggled mightily this season, as they enter Sunday 13 games back in the AL Central and 18 games under .500. Chicago’s issues in 2013 may lead to several trades, and one could include Alex Rios.
Heyman reports that the Pirates have interest in acquiring Rios from the White Sox. Pittsburgh desperately needs to land someone who can play right field well in the second half. Entering Sunday, Pirates' right fielders had been fifth-worst in the majors in terms of WAR, according to FanGraphs.
Travis Snider has played right field for the bulk of the season for the Pirates. In 88 games, though, he’s hitting just .232/.303/.342 with three home runs and 23 RBI. Jose Tabata has played in right a bit as well. In 49 games, he’s hitting .277/.343/.408 with two homers and 11 RBI. Pittsburgh really needs an upgrade at the position.
Rios is having a solid season for Chicago this season, even though his team has been far from impressive. In 92 games, the outfielder is hitting .275/.330/.442 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI. He also has 19 stolen bases and has been playing very well defensively.
All statistics used in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and were current through July 20. All contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts with all injury information obtained via Baseball Prospectus.