According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Boston Red Sox are interested in trading for Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy. Per Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune, Peavy has already packed his bags and expects to be traded.
The question is, would it be worth it for the Red Sox to make a deal for Peavy? If so, what would the potential rewards and detractions be?
Let's get to the bottom of it.
Peavy, 32, is one of the most sought-after players on the open market. While injuries have long been an issue, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner proved in 2012 that, with the proper supporting cast, he can still be effective, as he won the Gold Glove award and finished with an ERA of 3.37.
Per Olney, that places the Bo Sox in a tough spot as they compete with other American League contenders for the rights to Peavy's services.
Let's paraphrase—teams that believe they can win a title are under the impression that Peavy can help them do so.
The Red Sox are still in first place in the American League East, owning a record of 63-43. Not only is that the best record in the AL East, but Boston has also registered the most victories in the MLB.
Just don't think that means Boston is complacent.
Pro: Adding an Arm
Many will look at Peavy's 4.28 ERA and claim that he'll be of minimal aid to a Boston Red Sox rotation that could use some help. Others will point out the fact that Peavy is just as injury-prone as the players currently under contract.
At the end of the day, there's simply one thing we cannot ignore—depth is the most powerful weapon a manager can possess come the postseason.
Jon Lester is finally looking like himself and John Lackey has been a revelation, but Clay Buchholz has been out for nearly two months. He was looking like a Cy Young Award winner before going down, but with his injury comes doubt.
Boston has remained elite, thus far, but there are 56 regular-season games left, and Boston holds just a half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Anything can happen.
By adding Peavy, the Red Sox pick up yet another reliable arm whom pitching master John Farrell can help return to form. Just as Buchholz and Lackey have bounced back from lackluster seasons, Peavy can become the pitcher he was just one year ago.
Why not take that risk on a world-class athlete?
Con: Price Tag
According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, the Red Sox and White Sox have discussed a potential swap of Peavy for Will Middlebrooks. Alex Speier of WEEI.com quickly shot down that report, claiming that Middlebrooks was not a player Boston offered.
Even if Speier is correct, that doesn't change one critical fact—Boston will need to pay a pretty penny to acquire Peavy.
Peavy may not be at his best this year at 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA, but there is interest from four title contenders. With the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals all expressing their desire to acquire Peavy, it's clear that Boston will not be able to steal Peavy from its competitors.
Acquiring the former Cy Young Award winner will take some form of significant compensation.
There's a strong possibility that Middlebrooks ends up being involved, as Jose Iglesias has played strong, sans a recent cold streak. If that is the case, it would be a tough pill to swallow, as Middlebrooks has shown signs of being an everyday player.
When you have the opportunity to acquire a pitcher who won a Gold Glove award just one year ago, however, that's a risk you may be willing to take.
Final Verdict: Take the Risk
The Boston Red Sox are an aging team that can use as much promising youth as it could possibly find. They have four key pitchers who are 34 or older, David Ortiz is 37, and both Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino are 32.
Oh, how that story is incredibly overstated.
Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia—Boston's championship core—are all in their prime. Middlebrooks, meanwhile, has seen his spot taken by Iglesias, who is hitting .330 in 61 games.
In the end, Boston has a chance to win a World Series title this year, and that's an opportunity too grand to pass over.
If you know anything about me, it's that I adamantly oppose trading your young guns for a veteran, barring superstar circumstances. With that being said, the Red Sox are in prime position to secure home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Why not trade for a pitcher who would be perfect for Farrell?
There's a risk here, and in the end, Peavy's history of injuries could be the red flag to turn Boston off. With that being said, the Red Sox will only be as effective come the postseason as their pitching enables them to be.
Adding a coveted right-handed pitcher is the type of move that could help win them a championship.