On the disabled list since mid-June and having rejected a trade to the Chicago White Sox in May, Jake Peavy(notes) on Friday afternoon accepted a trade to the White Sox, who sent four pitchers – including left-handers Clayton Richard(notes) and Aaron Poreda(notes) – to the San Diego Padres for the former Cy Young Award winner.
In a trading period that saw aces Cliff Lee(notes) traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and Roy Halladay(notes) remain with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Peavy transaction was easily the most surprising at Friday's deadline.
In a massive rebuild mode in the wake of owner John Moores' divorce and the gradual transfer of ownership to Jeff Moorad, the Padres took four young arms in exchange for the face of a franchise, a franchise that is suffering through a second consecutive last-place season.
Meantime, Peavy is recovering from a strained tendon in his right ankle, so won't immediately help the White Sox's efforts in the AL Central, if he's able to at all this season. He is under White Sox control for four seasons after this one. General manager Kenny Williams agreed in May to a similar trade with the Padres, only to have Peavy block it. In the hours before Friday's deadline, presented the same scenario, Peavy went along.
The immediate impact could be damaging to the White Sox, in third place and 2½ games behind the Detroit Tigers, and already unsure of what they'll get in Jose Contreras(notes) starts. Bartolo Colon(notes) is on the disabled list because of a sore elbow. Richard, who is 6-foot-5, appeared in 26 games, 14 starts, and had a 4-3 record and 4.65 ERA for the White Sox. Poreda had a 2.45 ERA in 10 appearances.
The trade makes for a brighter future for the White Sox, however. Peavy at his best would lead a rotation that includes Mark Buehrle(notes), John Danks(notes) and Gavin Floyd(notes). In fact, it could happen as early as September if Peavy's ankle heals, and perhaps that will be enough time to win the division away from the Tigers and Minnesota Twins.
The Padres had shopped Peavy for most of the winter, a process made exceedingly difficult because of Peavy's no-trade clause and the fact he would consider only a handful of teams, none of them in the American League. Two months ago, after the Padres and White Sox shook hands on a package very similar to Friday's, Peavy said he would not go to the White Sox. The Padres were in the midst of a 10-game winning streak, but still not close to contending in the NL West.
Asked why he'd reconsidered the trade to the White Sox, Peavy told XX Sports Radio in San Diego his situation had changed, and so had the club's.
"The thing is now … a lot of things have changed since May when the deal was first proposed," he said. "First off, the White Sox are in this thing. They're a contending team and at the time they weren't any better or contending anymore than we were. I think the biggest thing is when … the San Diego Padres continually express interest that we have to get rid of you, we need to trade you and we have to have meeting after meeting asking me to be more open-minded about leaving, and they expressed that fact so many times. When you have one team that does what the White Sox do and just keep knocking at the door saying, 'Listen, we want you on this team. We want you in Chicago for the next three years.' It gets persuasive. I'm certainly not scared to pitch in the American League and that's not why I stayed in the National League."