The 2013 MLB Trade Deadline is fast approaching, and arguably the biggest name on the market, Jake Peavy, still resides in Chicago. Come Wednesday, he'll be moved. Where to? Let's look at the latest buzz.
No. 4: St. Louis Cardinals
I'm really just doing my due diligence by mentioning the Cardinals here. They've consistently been one of the many teams on the massive list of potential suitors, but they've never been labeled as the frontrunners. The extent of the chatter around them is as follows:
Cardinals continue pursuit of Jake Peavy and Alexei Ramirez with Carlos Martinez, Joe Kelly and Kolton Wong's names being mentioned #RUMORS— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 28, 2013
However, according to Buster Olney of ESPN (insider subscription required), the Cardinals pride themselves in their young talent and trading away someone like Carlos Martinez for a veteran with a huge injury risk (they don't need another Chris Carpenter) isn't like them.
Plus, it's assumed that they'll be taking the NL Central barring some Grilli-like misfortune. The subsequent teams need him more.
No. 3: Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson's devastating injury has left the Braves coveting a starter.
I put the Braves at No.3 because like the Cardinals, they aren't pursuing Peavy with the same fire as the top two teams. Joel Sherman tweeted this yesterday:
Atlanta also may have already made their anti-climactic trade deadline splash, as they landed lefty reliever Scott Downs earlier today. Brandon Beachy is returning today and slotted to start tonight as well. While Atlanta does need to bolster its rotation to contend in the playoffs, they're almost a sure thing to make it to October. Coolstandings.com gives the Braves a 97.1% chance of winning the division.
No. 2: Oakland Athletics
This was close and could go either way. Oakland is the favorite to acquire Peavy as of right now.
Oakland has an unbelievable crop of young starters who lead the AL in ERA with 3.60. Not only that, they have "top prospect Sonny Gray clearly ready to help and and Brett Anderson close to returning from a right foot injury," according to Heyman.
However, Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune made a good point in that in case of a Bartolo Colon suspension, Oakland needs to be prepared. Oakland has youth, but they don't have much veteran leadership. Peavy would do just that for them.
No. 1: Boston Red Sox
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that John Lackey would be Boston's most reliable starter this year, I would've laughed in your face and felt no remorse about it. Yet, he leads those (healthy) in the rotation with a 3.19 ERA. With the uncertainty around Clay Buchholtz, the Red Sox need another starter. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted this today:
In the column today, a guesstimate on who will land Jake Peavy: http://t.co/A0YNAXX0Vv the Oakland Athletics.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 28, 2013
While many have pegged the A's as the favorites, the Red Sox need Peavy more. While Oakland leads the AL in team ERA, the Red Sox are middling at seventh-best in the AL, 15th in baseball. Boston also really doesn't want to get into a one-game playoff with Texas, Tampa Bay or Baltimore. They need to take the AL East.
Money also comes into play. While Oakland is typically thrifty, Boston is more apt to shell out the cash.
I've also mentioned before that Boston has a budding farm system, and with the White Sox needing to rebuild, they're probably hungry for hotshot prospects. Allan Webster, Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo are three BoSox arms that could go over in a deal.