It was a move that the Red Sox simply had to make. Adding the 32-year-old Peavy gives the Red Sox another legitimate top-of-the-rotation starter. Going head-to-head against the Tampa Bay Rays over this past week has really shown that Boston needed to do something to close the starting pitching gap between the two teams.
The American League is wide open this season, putting the Red Sox in position to not only potentially make the playoffs but to make some noise if they get in. For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009, the Red Sox needed to go for it this year.
Adding Peavy to the starting rotation gives Boston plenty of options to configure their rotation and also to move players into the bullpen to solidify that area. Peavy is in the midst of another solid season and will be an excellent complement to Jon Lester and John Lackey at the top of the Red Sox rotation. Peavy is someone that I identified this past offseason as a primary target for Boston.
Peavy’s acquisition also protects the Red Sox against the possibility that Clay Buchholz won’t pitch again for them this season, something that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington addressed last night in this article from WEEI's Rob Bradford. Buchholz hasn’t pitched for the team since June 8th.
The cost of landing Peavy was steep, trading prized shortstop Jose Iglesias, as first tweeted by CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler. While Iglesias may have shined in his time with the Red Sox this season, it also allowed the Red Sox to sell high on a player that they may have had concerns about offensively long-term.
Looking at what the Red Sox gave up, the 23-year-old Iglesias and three very young minor league prospects, Boston was able to deal from their two biggest areas of surplus in the minors, shortstop and young pitching. Losing Iglesias hurts, but the Red Sox still have Xander Bogaerts and other shortstop prospects coming through the pipeline.
There is some risk to the deal for the Red Sox, both in Peavy’s durability and the $14 plus million due on his contract that runs through 2014 with a player option for 2015. Peavy has made only 13 starts this season due to a broken rib. The limited innings might actually benefit Peavy if the season goes deep into October.
The other key to the deal for the Red Sox, besides adding Peavy, is the fact that Boston didn’t really touch any of their top prospects in making the deal. This allows the Red Sox to be players for Giancarlo Stanton when-and-if the Miami Marlins make him available. Stanton is someone that I speculated as the Red Sox number one trade target immediately after last winter’s blockbuster trade between the Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Red Sox simply don't have someone like the 23-year-old Stanton on their roster or in their system.
Cherington and the Red Sox front office did exactly what they needed to. Boston is a team that has exceeded expectations this season and currently sits 20 games over .500 right, right behind the Rays. By rewarding the major league roster without significantly altering it, Cherington allows John Farrell and this group of players to really make a deep postseason run.
That’s all that you can ask for if you are a player for the Red Sox or a fan of the team.
Information used from Jon Heyman/CBS Sports, Alex Speier/WEEI.com, Baseball Reference, Rob Bradford/WEEI.com, Danny Knobler/CBS Sports