With the San Francisco Giants having struggled so badly over the past month, there is little debate that a trade would help improve their chances of contending for a playoff spot this year. Many believe that the greatest need is in the starting rotation, where the Giants have struggled this year after being solid for so many years.
CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reported on Friday night that the Giants could have interest in Chicago White Sox righthander Jake Peavy. It’s difficult to see why the Giants would be at all intrigued by Peavy, though, as making a move for him does not make sense baseball-wise or financially.
Though he still has a decent reputation due to the success he had in his time with the San Diego Padres, the odds are against Peavy ever being anything special again.
The biggest problem with the 32-year-old Peavy is that he is making $14.5 million this year and makes that same amount next year. With a team like the Giants that has a rather tight budget and needs to pay several free agents this offseason, they simply can’t be paying that much for a so-so starter.
Though Peavy was once an effective, top-of-the-rotation power pitcher, he’s transformed into much more of a groundball pitcher, and an unreliable one at that. After averaging more than a strikeout an inning from 2004-07 and again in 2009, Peavy has had very underwhelming strikeout totals since his acquisition by the White Sox.
In addition, there are major concerns with his durability and consistency. Though he had a revival of sorts last year, Peavy had ERA’s over 4.00 in 2010 and 2011, and his ERA this year is 4.30. Also, last year was the first time since 2007 that Peavy had started more than 30 games.
His health concerns have returned this year as he fractured a rib and has only made 11 starts. He’s not scheduled to return until late July, so he would probably be of little help to the Giants, as Ryan Vogelsong should also be back around that time.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy has stated that his preference is to get bullpen help if the Giants explore the trade market. However, if they decide that it is necessary to get a starter, it would make more sense for the Giants to get someone less risky, such as the Houston Astros‘ Bud Norris.
The 28-year-old has made it no secret that he would like to pitch in San Francisco, and he is a more financially-friendly player. He’s making $3 million this year and is under team control for the next two years. And unlike Peavy, he is durable and reliable. Though his stuff won’t wow anyone and he has never been dominant, he fills his role well as an innings-eater.
With the passion that Norris seems to have for San Francisco, his superior financial situation and his reliability, he should be a bigger target than Peavy. He likely would take less to get, and would fit in better.