White Sox-Cubs Trade Rumor: Jake Peavy for Carlos Zambrano...Really?

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2009

I sure hope that this is one of those cases of where there may be smoke, but no actual fire.

In Phil Rogers’ quick-hits column at the Tribune today (via FanNation T&R), he says that “some baseball people” believe that the White Sox and Cubs could be interested in swapping Jake Peavy and Carlos Zambrano.

Before I show you the excerpt, let me give you my unequivocal initial reaction to this White Sox-Cubs trade rumor, from my perspective as a White Sox fan: hell no!

Here is what Rogers has to say:

Some baseball people believe the White Sox could have interest in the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano, possibly even for the newly acquired Jake Peavy. It would be a way for two teams without much money to spend to shake things up, but wouldn’t Peavy have more value than Zambrano at this point?

You’re damn right Jake Peavy has more value than Carlos Zambrano…at least, as far as I’m concerned. 

Take a quick look at their career numbers:

  • Carlos Zambrano: 237 GS, 105-67, 3.50 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .230 BAA, 1.899:1 K/BB ratio
  • Jake Peavy: 214 GS, 94-68, 3.28 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .231 BAA, 3.1:1 K/BB ratio

While their career numbers are not that much different, and while an argument can be made that Peavy’s numbers have been inflated by the home park he’s pitched in his entire career in San Diego, and while Zambrano’s career playoff numbers are actually much better than Peavy’s, there is just something innate about the two pitchers that makes me not hesitate in saying I’d rather have Peavy.

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And I promise it has nothing to do with the fact that Peavy has been outstanding in the two starts he’s made for Chicago as the White Sox limp down the stretch in ‘09 (2-0, 13 K, 4 BB, 2.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP).

For whatever reason, I have absolutely no faith in Carlos Zambrano to come through in big spots and consistently take the mound with the right mindset every fifth day. He is far too much of a loose cannon, and too prone to bouts of wildness, to truly be counted on as an ace.

In Mark Buehrle-Jake Peavy-John Danks-Gavin Floyd, the White Sox may well have the best pitching rotation in the American League next year. I’m not saying that subbing Zambrano for Peavy would necessarily change that, but I like the look of it much better with Peavy.

And do we really want loose cannon Ozzie Guillen managing loose cannon Carlos Zambrano? Something about that mixture just seems to combustible to work.

In the end, there is really no clear statistical argument that separates the two, but I still know I’d rather have Peavy on the South Side. What do you think?

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* – Jake Peavy photo credit: Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press via Chicago Tribune

* – Carlos Zambrano photo credit: Foul Balls


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