Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
It's no surprise that the Red Sox landed, arguably, the top starting pitcher available on the trade market in Jake Peavy (pictured). What is a surprise is that they did it without surrendering any of their top prospects.
For weeks, I've raved about how much elite talent the Sox had in the upper level in the minors and how they could easily land one or two impact players at the deadline. If there was a team that could've landed Cliff Lee, it was the Red Sox. If there was a team that could've traded for Giancarlo Stanton, it was the Red Sox. Ditto for any other elite player who wasn't mentioned prominently in trade talk.
The emergence of starting pitchers Anthony Ranaudo, Drake Britton and Brandon Workman to go along with Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, who came over in last August's blockbuster deal with the Dodgers, have helped boost the Sox from a middle-of-the-pack farm system—they were ranked 16th coming into the season by Baseball Prospectus—to a top-five system in baseball.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was already considered an elite prospect but now he's proving that he's a lot closer to the majors than had been anticipated. He's also one of the primary reasons the team felt comfortable in dealing defensive whiz Jose Iglesias in the deal that brought them Peavy.
The three lower-level prospects in the deal, however, are relatively unknown but with apparently enough potential that the White Sox were willing to trade a top-of-the-rotation starter with at least another year of team control—Peavy is signed through 2014 and has a vesting player option for 2015.
Frank Montas and J.B. Wendelken, two hard-throwing right-handers, were having success in Low-A while shortstop Cleuluis Rondon, known more for his defense, wasn't showing much with the bat for short-season Lowell.
The fact that the Sox were able to acquire Peavy without surrendering one of their upper-level talents speaks volumes of just how deep of a farm system they possess. And heading into the offseason, they'll probably be able to utilize their starting pitching depth to add more talent to the major league roster or possibly add more to the minors.
Here's a look at the starting pitching options for 2014:
1. Jake Peavy
2. Jon Lester
3. Clay Buchholz
4. John Lackey
5. Ryan Dempster
6. Felix Doubront
7. Brandon Workman
8. Allen Webster
9. Anthony Ranaudo
10. Rubby De La Rosa
11. Matt Barnes
12. Drake Britton
I'm guessing that 29 general managers in the league are very jealous of the stack of chips Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington will have heading into the offseason. They say you can never have enough pitching. But if there was ever a team that had enough pitching, it might be the 2014 Red Sox.