Less than one year after it began, the Jake Peavy era in Boston has ended, as the Boston Red Sox just traded the veteran right-hander to the San Francisco Giants for a pair of pitching prospects. Like he did in 2013 in being dealt from the Chicago White Sox, Peavy will provide starting rotation depth to the Giants, who are looking to bring Frisco a third World Series title in five years.
Peavy should provide a boost to a rotation that recently lost Matt Cain. Despite his numbers (1-9, 4.72 ERA), the 33-year-old has thrown the ball well for the most part in 2014, especially of late. Pitching for a better team in a pitcher-friendly park in a pitcher-friendly division, Peavy’s numbers should be more reflective of the way he’s pitching.
While it was a good deal for the Giants, it’s just as good a deal for the Red Sox.
The return was as good as Ben Cherington was going to get for Peavy, netting two pitchers among the top-11 Giants prospects, the highest — Edwin Escobar — ranked second among all San Francisco prospects and rated 56th on Baseball America’s preseason top-100 list.
But it wasn’t necessarily about the return as much as it was about the flexibility it gives Cherington and John Farrell in the starting rotation. With Peavy gone, it enables the Red Sox to give their many pitching prospects an opportunity to start at the major league level and not being pigeonholed into giving Peavy the ball every fifth day.
It means they can call up Brandon Workman — who would have made 20 starts already had he been on all but three or four other major league clubs — and give him the experience he needs and the roster spot he’s earned since making his major league debut last July. The Red Sox can use the spot to give starts to Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster (who will get the ball Sunday in Peavy’s place), Matt Barnes or Henry Owens.
With the Red Sox virtually out of playoff competition, it makes more sense to give potential impact players in the future a taste of the majors as opposed to keeping Peavy around. Likewise, it’s only fair to Peavy to give him a shot at another ring.
As of July 26, 2014, it looks like a deal that is beneficial to both clubs.