With the Cubs trade of Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers on Monday, the player viewed by many as the prize of the 2013 trade deadline has been moved, and that could have a domino effect on the rest of the market.
For teams looking to add an impact arm, there is no real home run option left, and the best available starter now looks to be White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy.
It’s safe to assume that the Garza deal has increased the number of suitors for Peavy, and at the same time has likely boosted the cost to acquire him, but just what will it take to land the 32–year-old?
After battling injuries for three seasons and making just 52 total starts from 2009-2011, Peavy finally managed to stay healthy last year. The result was an 11-12 record with a 3.37 ERA and 1.096 WHIP over 32 starts as he made his third career All-Star appearance.
The White Sox bought out their $22 million team option on Peavy in 2013 for $4 million in the offseason, but quickly re-signed him to more reasonable two-year, $29 million deal.
He hasn’t been quite as good as last season, and he has missed some time due to injury, but his numbers are solid nonetheless. In 12 starts, he’s 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA (104 ERA+) and 1.164 WHIP, striking out 69 in 73 innings of work.
Looking back to last year’s deadline, the top arm on the market was undeniably Brewers Zack Greinke, who wound up going to the Angels for a package that included 2013 All-Star Jean Segura. By comparison, the Cubs got a terrific package of prospects for Garza with some All-Star caliber talent as well.
The No. 2 arm on the market ended up being Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who was terrific after being dealt to Detroit, but had strikingly similar numbers to Peavy prior to being moved.
In 17 starts with the Marlins, the then 28-year-old Sanchez was 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA (104 ERA+) and 1.256 WHIP, striking out 110 in 121 innings.
The Marlins included second baseman Omar Infante in the deal, and in return received the Tigers’ No. 1 prospect and No. 22 MLB prospect (RHP Jacob Turner), Tigers’ No. 7 prospect (C Rob Brantly) and Tigers’ No. 24 prospect (SP Brian Flynn).
Sanchez was younger at the time of the trade, and came along with a starting second baseman, but Peavy has the added value of being signed through next season. If the White Sox were willing to take on a small portion of that $14.5 million he is owed next season, they may be able to land a deal similar to what the Marlins got for Sanchez.
Guys like Ervin Santana, Yovani Gallardo, Tim Lincecum, Bud Norris, Phil Hughes and Joe Saunders have all found their names in trade rumors so far this July.
However, as far as a reliable veteran arm who is all but a sure thing to be dealt, Peavy looks like the best option on the market right now. With Garza moved, he could be the next trade chip to fall, and his trade value from the White Sox standpoint may never be higher than it is right now.