COMMENTARY | The rumor mill continues to swirl, and this time the St. Louis Cardinals are rumored to have interest in Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox, according to this article from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
If the price is right, this is a deal Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak should pull the trigger on.
The Chicago White Sox are first in the American League Central division -- assuming you are listing the teams alphabetically. Otherwise, the Pale Hose from the south side of Chicago are last in the American League Central and only have more wins than the hapless Houston Astros in the junior circuit. If there was ever a team that could be identified as a "seller," the White Sox fit the profile.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals continue to face adversity in their starting rotation and have always shied away from rental players. They continue to search for a veteran on the trade market that can shore up their rotation and help bring some stability on the heels of news that Chris Carpenter has halted his rehab due to renewed numbness in his pitching hand.
Peavy would not be a rental
First and foremost, Peavy fits the profile of not being a rental player. Peavy is signed through next season with a player option for 2015, although at a slightly higher price tag than the Cardinals would prefer. Peavy will make $14.5 million next season and $15 million on his player option, though his option will only be available if he can post 400 innings between 2013 and 2014. That figures to be unreachable, meaning the Cardinals would only be on the hook for 2014 and should be able to get the White Sox to consume some of that salary, depending on the players offered.
Peavy fits the Cardinal profile
Earlier in his career, Peavy was a power pitcher that relied on strikeouts to get him through his starts successfully. Recently, Peavy has found success by keeping his walk rate low and pitching to contact very well. His strikeout rate is just under one per inning but his walk rate is way down, walking less than two hitters per nine innings pitched. He has a tendency to give up his share of home runs, though he pitches his home games in a ballpark that is known for surrendering them.
He provides stability
Peavy has battled his way through injuries, though, in large part, he seems to be stable now. He eclipsed the always-important 200-inning mark last season and should see around 150 innings of work again this year. It is important to note that the Cardinals will not be looking for a top-of-the-rotation starter, but more of a rotation anchor that can handle the third or fourth slot every time through the rotation.
Peavy can provide the Cardinals with a much-needed stable arm in the rotation without costing the team a ton of prospects. The White Sox are rumored to be looking for a corner infielder or designated hitter in return, something the Cardinals can accommodate. Brock Peterson may fit the bill if packaged with another mid-ranged prospect, assuming the Cardinals would pick up most of Peavy's salary.
Jake Peavy may be wearing the birds on the bat soon, and that would be a good thing for the Cardinals.
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