COMMENTARY | The speculation about what the Boston Red Sox might do before the trade deadline is now officially over.
Jake Peavy is on his way to Fenway in a three-team, seven-player deal. Boston also received RHP Brayan Villarreal, who is currently in the minors. Meanwhile, the Red Sox sent Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers and three low prospects to the Chicago White Sox. Detroit also sent high-prospect Avisail Garcia to Chicago as part of the deal. Although not a blockbuster, this deal certainly sent shockwaves through Red Sox Nation that had been patiently waiting to see if Boston would make a move to bolster the rotation.
While the Red Sox did give up on Iglesias, who has a .330 average and an OBP of .370, they do get back a pitcher who should solidify a starting staff that desperately needed another proven arm.
Peavy will come right in and battle Jon Lester and John Lackey to be considered the No. 1 pitcher on the staff (at least until Clay Buchholz returns from injury; if, in fact, he ever does). Granted, Peavy isn't the same as he was in his San Diego Padres days, but he is still a proven workhorse when healthy.
The veteran right-hander is 8-4 this season with a 4.28 ERA and a WHIP of 1.14. Peavy has also pitched well since coming back from a rib fracture he suffered earlier in June. He has a combined 13 innings pitched, allowing six earned runs and striking out 10. Peavy was supposed to throw again for Chicago, but he had been delayed due to the fact that the White Sox were planning his move.
There's no denying Peavy's pitching talents. He has a career ERA of 3.47 and WHIP of 1.17. He's a strikeout machine and innings eater. However, the injury history always raises the red flag. Peavy has missed considerable time in four out of the last five years due to various maladies. Peavy is just 32 years old, but injuries tend to make the aging process move a bit more quickly. There is unquestionably a measure of risk with bringing him in.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox decided to move yet another shortstop. The talented Iglesias was proving his worth this season at the plate, while playing well at both short and third base. However, in the eyes of the Red Sox, he was expendable.
Sure, he may be the best defensive shortstop in the league, but a shortstop isn't going to win a World Series. Starting pitching can. Plus, the Red Sox do have Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings to take over for Iglesias in the near future. And "near future" could be before the end of this season. Bogaerts is putting up respectable numbers in Triple-A (.273, 8 HR, 24 RBIs). If Stephen Drew continues to hit around .220 at the shortstop position, don't be surprised if Bogaerts gets an opportunity before October. Meanwhile, Brock Holt will handle third base until the Red Sox are comfortable bringing Will Middlebrooks back up from Pawtucket when he finds his confidence. Plus, there's always the possibility of another trade.
While the Red Sox are sure to miss Iglesias' glove at both short and third, they have theoretically improved their starting rotation without getting rid of their most prized prospects. Was there a risk involved with this trade? Absolutely. But it's a risk that was certainly worth taking provided Peavy can stay on the field.
Chris Sedenka is a Yahoo! Contributor in Sports covering the Boston Red Sox. You can listen to his daily radio show on 96.3FM in Portland, ME or at thebigjab.com. He is also the voice of the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisSedenka.
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