According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Boston Red Sox have completed a three-team blockbuster deal centered around Jake Peavy and Jose Iglesias. The trade is pending a physical, but should it go through, Peavy will head to Boston and Iglesias will ship out to the Detroit Tigers.
As promising as Iglesias may be, it was a necessary price to pay for acquiring Peavy.
Peavy had been involved in trade rumors for days, going as far as packing his bags to be ready for an instant change. Iglesias, meanwhile, has been one of Boston's breakout performers, hitting .330 in 63 games played before being dealt.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports confirmed the full details of the trade:
Final deal: Peavy, Bryan Villareal to Boston. Iglesias to Detroit. Avisail Garcia, Cleuluis Rondon, Frank Montas, JB Wendelken to ChiSox.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2013
A major deal, to say the least.
Peavy is 32 years old and one year removed from a 2012 campaign in which he was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner. Iglesias, meanwhile, is a 23-year-old third baseman with pure hitting ability who has dazzled scouts and fans.
In the end, parting ways with Iglesias was a necessary evil.
During the course of the 2013 MLB regular season, the Red Sox have been one of the best offensive teams in baseball. They're third in team batting average and rank second in runs scored, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Unfortunately, Boston can't seem to keep its pitching staff together.
As it presently stands, Andrew Bailey, Clay Buchholz, Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Alex Wilson are all on the disabled list. Bailey and Hanrahan were Boston's top two closers, Buchholz was the ace of the pitching staff, and Miller was an All-Star-caliber middle reliever.
Doing nothing at the trade deadline simply wasn't an option.
Peavy may have his own history of injuries, but he also tends to go deep into games and give his bullpen a rest. That would be a blessing for Boston, as the Red Sox have lost enough pitchers to derail their World Series dreams.
With Buchholz expected to return, however, Boston's pitching staff could go from one of power but uncertainty to a squad with elite potential.
Buchholz is currently 9-0 with an ERA of 1.71 and a WHIP of 1.02. He'd won three consecutive games prior to his injury, finally returning to the form he flashed in 2010.
Once he's healthy, the Red Sox will be able to alleviate the pressure with a rotation of Buchholz, Jon Lester, Peavy, John Lackey, and either Ryan Dempster or Felix Doubront. Not only is that a potent group of five, but it could also be the core necessary to lead Boston to a title.
As great as Iglesias may become, winning a World Series title depends heavily upon how well a team pitches in the postseason—that's exactly why this deal needed to be done.
In an ideal world, the Red Sox would have moved forward with Will Middlebrooks playing third base and Iglesias at shortstop. While Stephen Drew may be playing well defensively, he's also inconsistently flashing his bat.
With all of this being established, there was no way to acquire a player of Peavy's caliber while keeping both Iglesias and Middlebrooks.
With Middlebrooks having spent his most recent time in the minor leagues, that made Iglesias the player Detroit had its eye on. With Jhonny Peralta at risk of being suspended (via the Detroit Free Press), the player more capable of playing shortstop put all other factors to rest.
Fortunately for Boston, the Red Sox were in a rare position—they already have a player who can replace Iglesias at third base.
Finding a long-term shortstop is another topic of conversation, but Middlebrooks hit .288 with 15 home runs and 54 RBi in 75 during the 2012 regular season. His drop-off has been extreme, hitting .199 in 53 appearances in 2013.
If a sophomore slump is too concerning for you, Xander Bogaerts is considered to be one of the best fielding prospects at the shortstop position.
Iglesias may become a superstar shortstop, translating his ability to hit for contact into something even greater. In that same breath, Peavy may ultimately fall victim to another injury, and the Red Sox could thus miss out on a golden opportunity.
When a World Series title is a realistic dream, however, you do what you must to contend, and that's exactly what Boston did by trading Iglesias for Peavy.