Jul 20, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Roundtable: What’s Boston’s Best Trade Option?


It’s been a while since the Red Sox roundtable has kicked it around amongst both you and the BSI writing staff. With the trade deadline fast approaching, it’s only natural that the staff and you weigh in on just whom you think the Red Sox should trade for, if anyone.

I’m going to kick this off. The writers and your comments will drive the conversation. Here we go!

First I’m peeved that Boston didn’t move on Matt Garza. OK, he hasn’t had a dominant year statistically (6-2, 3.17 ERA with the Cubs and now the Rangers) but the guy knows how to win and pitch in a pressure situations. To prove my point, in his first outing with the Rangers, Garza only pitched 7.1 innings while lifting the Rangers to a 5 hit, 1 run, 3-1 victory over the Yankees. But enough about that water under the bridge. What do the Sox need to do to complete down the stretch?

With question marks surrounding Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Ryan Dempster, I’m saying Boston needs starting pitching more than anything. Jake Peavy is the best available starting pitcher on the market. While he’s been just OK for the White Sox in 2013 (7-4, 4.19 ERA) he’s another guy like Garza who knows how pitch but doesn’t come with the same pedigree.

Being an above average pitcher in San Diego in a crappy division doesn’t quite excite me but his numbers play out favorably even when you consider his move to the AL Central. As a Padre over eight seasons he averaged 11 wins per season against 8 losses with a 3.41 ERA. With the ChiSox Peavey has averaged a 7-6 record and a 3.69 ERA.

Yes his strike outs are down – 162 per season with the Padres as opposed to 93 per season with the White Sox – but that is primarily a function of his innings pitched average (106 with Chicago, 160 with the Padres). There’s more good news. His walks, as expected, are also down. Peavy is averaging only 25 per season with the White Sox as opposed to 52 per season with the Padres.

The problem is that it would reportedly still require an attractive package of prospects for the White Sox to part with Peavy. Given Boston’s penchant for holding onto those dear to them in their farm system, it’s unlikely this deal could come together although Peter Gammons reported today that recently demoted Will Middlebrooks may be part of a package to lure Peavy.

Gorden Edes is reporting that the Sox are also looking at Houston’s Bud Norris, both Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse in Milwaukee as well as Kansas City’s Ervin Santana and James Shields.

I’ve said my piece. Now it’s your turn. BSI writers and fans, sound off!

Tags: Boston Red Sox Featured Popular Trade Deadline

  • Michele Pettis

    I’ll be the first to admit that it’s good that I’m not the GM. I never want to part with any of the guys I’ve gotten attached to, and I never want to give up any of the guys on the farm for fear they’ll turn out to the be the next Hall of Famer and we’ll be kicking ourselves for years afterwards.
    That being said, I do think we need pitching. Even if Clay comes back (which is a huge question mark at this point) we need another arm in the rotation. I’m not a huge fan of Garza’s (yes, his numbers are good, but they’re not great). Peavy is an intriguing choice. Parting with Will Middlebrooks isn’t a huge burden and might be worth it.
    But as pressing a need a starting pitcher is, I think the bullpen might be in need of help even more. I love Uehara as closer and just wish we had one awesome set up guy that we can count on. But I’m sure that anyone that awesome would come with an awesome price tag as well.

    • John Fahrer

      The best upgrade for a bullpen is a good starting rotation. If the starters go deeper into games, it lessens the burden on the relievers, thus improving their effectiveness. If they get Peavy, they can use Workman and other put pitching prospects out of the pen.

      They could also try to get Jessse Crain in the same deal as well. Trading solely for relievers, especially ones nearing free agency, is such a risky business.

  • Paul Prims

    If they can get Norris for a couple of lesser prospects they should do that. I just don’t think Peavy is all that good to give up something big. And I would not move Middlebrooks. I’m not ready to give up on him at 24-25

    • John Fahrer

      Have a feeling Norris will just get shelled in the AL East.

  • John Fahrer

    Would love to get a package of Peavy and Crain. Just wouldn’t give up any of the top 3 (Bogaerts Ranaudo Cecchini) in the process. With the surplus, as well as Workman’s emergence, I’m fine with dealing Webster. Bryce Brentz can be deemed expendable as well.

    Would love to get Lee, but doubt the Phils will sell. Michael Young would be nice to get in a lesser deal. But once again I don’t think the Phils are selling.

  • Rick M

    Play with what you have. Bring in bullpen support from the I-95 express. Patch the rotation together with your prospects until hypochondriac is back. Hold the future.

    • John Fahrer

      If they can get Peavy and Crain for a package built around Webster and Brentz, it’d be worth it.

      Won’t look good if they do nothing and a repeat of ’06 follows. They’re really hyping up the “they owe it to the fans to bring in upgrades” angle in the tabloids.

      I definitely wouldn’t give up any huge chips for just a reliever. But if a frontline starter or power bat is involved, it’s at least worth looking into.

      • Michael Macaulay-Birks

        I just read Crain won’t be activated in time for the deadline on http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/07/crain-will-not-be-activated-prior-to-trade-deadline.html

        • John Fahrer

          Guess it’ll just have to be Peavy then.

        • Willy W

          That means nothing really. A player can be traded even while injured. As long as his medicals show he’ll be back shortly it would be worth it. Trading for him wouldnt necessarily be a mistake. With that said id rather acquire Reed over Crain, he has a history as a Closer which Id rather have over a set-up man.

      • Rick M

        I would not mind that deal but as far as the PR the absolute worse thing to do is make a deal for the sake of making a deal. I’d love a big RH bat and a lock down #2/3 starter but I’m not about to start dealing prospects #1-5 or even 1-10.

        Does this team have enough to make the playoffs? IMO if Lindsey Buchholz comes back in 2 weeks they do. They loaded up their PawSox roster with potential replacements so reward those guys. You had enough faith they could help you so do it.

        You examine all potential roster upgrades but right now they’ll be in overpay mode.

      • Crusader10

        No to that deal. Remember Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell? How about Detroit trading away John Smoltz for a short term pitcher? No, no, no. Don’t sell the farm. Build it.

        • John Fahrer

          The Bagwell for Anderson swap was a deal involving a prospect for a reliever who was a FA at seasons end. Don’t know if you’ve read any of my other comments before, but I’m actually opposed to deals like that.

          Jake Peavy’s not short-term. He’s on contract for 2014 with an option for 2015. And he’s a frontline starter who can consistently pitch deep into games when healthy. Something we currently don’t have right now.

          • Crusader10

            Maybe Peavy is not short term, but I do not like his history enough to give up multiple prospects for him, particularly not a quality pitcher. While Doyle Alexander did help the Tigers for two years, Smoltz’ career far outshown his. On the other hand, Tom Seaver did more for the Reds than Pat Zachary did for the Mets, so…

        • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

          Yes, let stick to the Future/Home-grown plan. A guy like
          Michael Young would add a veteran presence and versatility to the bench
          and could be had for a low-level pitching prospect.

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

      Totally agree with holding to the Future/Home-grown plan. A guy like Michael Young would add a veteran presence and versatility to the bench and could be had for a low-level pitching prospect.

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

      Rick,

      You may have read my previous post:

      Worth the Wait: 2015 home-grown crop–Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team” [Nov. 9, 2012]

      “It’s time for Red Sox fans to practice “delayed gratification.” Instead
      of copying old “Yankee” model—annually recycling FA veterans to stay
      competitiveevery year–let’s give Ben Cherington, Lord of Discipline, some time—say a year, or, two—to build his “Next Great Red Sox Team”– a home-grown core of players that will be a contender for post season for a decade.”

      [http://bosoxinjection.com/2012/11/09/worth-the-wait-2015-home-grown-crop-cheringtons-next-great-red-sox-team/]

      • Rick M

        I thought Theo and Benny use to dream of an all Red Sox grown team? I hate the idea of tossing away prospects but I know other teams love it – they seem to get some good talent dealing with the Sox. Oh….did I hate to see Rizzo leave.

        Right now NY is where fat contracts go to die and I hope Boston does not join that very short list.

  • Conor Duffy

    Acquiring a back-end starter is not going to make a difference for the Red Sox. I think that Workman can fill that void just fine. If they want to make a splash with starting pitching, they have to make a move for a frontline starter. With Garza off the table, Peavy would be the only option. Unfortunately, he would also probably cost a ton in terms of prospects and his contract, so I’m hesitant given that this is technically a rebuilding year gone extremely right.

    In my opinion, acquiring a reliever is much more essential to the Red Sox. Three of the four relievers on a first place team are Drake Britton, Pedro Beato, and Jose De La Torre right now. Those three have done fine so far, but there are bound to be growing pains and that can’t happen in a playoff run. I think acquiring a proven reliever such as Jesse Crain would be best, but again he may cost too much. At the end of the day, relief pitching is their biggest need and the Red Sox just have to decide whether it is worth the cost.

  • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

    I think Cherington will stay the course toward his “Next Great Red Sox Team” and jealously guard the prospects he has so adroitly acquired. [The Dodger Heist is one of the best trades ever made]. Ben must be surprised that the team is doing as well this season and tempted to “go for it” with a Theo-like trade, but he will remained “disciplined” and prudent. If he can get Peavy for Middlebrooks, that would be his best move. Scouts say that, once the AL pitchers figured out that Middlebrooks has a “hole” in his swing [high FBs] his BA dropped fast.

    Cherington sees himself as the “Anti-Theo” and will stick to his “home-grown” approach and I applaud that effort. Once Larry went back to marketing pink Fenway bricks and JH let Ben take the wheel, things have improved dramatically.

    • John Fahrer

      Actually Cherington and Theo share an almost identical big picture view of a homegrown team. There was an excerpt from the Francona book in which Theo asked why they just couldn’t try using their own guys rather than trade for established guys or roadblock the prospects with big FA acquisitions. Unfortunately, likely from pressure inflicted by Lucchino, Epstein gave into the “think big” philosophy.

      That being said, if Cherington can find an upgrade on the trade market that comes at a reasonable cost, I’m sure he’ll pursue it. Bogaerts and Bradley are probably untouchable and Cecchini could very well be as well. They have a nice influx of high upside pitching prospects at the upper levels, and one of them could be made available.

      Bryce Brentz could be made available as well. Pretty good upside as a power hitter, but he’ll be 25 in December and is a streaky player who doesn’t walk much. With the quality play of Nava and Carp, Victorino on contract until 2015, Bradley all but penciled in to start 2014 in CF, and the likelihood of Bogaerts or maybe Cecchini shifting to OF at some point, Brentz is trade-able, especially if the return is an ace starter.

      • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

        I have not had a chance to read the Tito book, so thanks for that information; I have suspected that Larry Lu was meddling, as he was the erstwhile GM in SD and fancies himself quite the expert.

        Your analysis of the Sox system is, as always, precised and on the money.

        I still think that Bogey should skip the SS and 3b positions and go right to 1b, so he can focus on his hitting. I think Marrero will surprise people and become a regular in the INF, maybe SS, if Iglesias’ BA comes down to earth?
        Also, I wonder about Middlebrooks; the Sox have identified a hole in his swing and he is working on it during “re-hab.” They keep avoiding that explanation for obvious reasons. Part of his issue is being over-agressive, e.g. tomahawking at the high heat, trying to upcut on the inside pitches to get more loft [maybe to tailor his swing for Fenway], hacking at pitches just above the K zone. His K-W ration has shown some improvement as of late. When he is on his game at bat, he is spraying the ball all over the field; ex: 13 HRs, 9 to LF/4 to RF.
        I sense that Cherington is “prudent” and will not desert his plan to build a home-grown team that will compete for a decade, but will tinker with less-splashy move [Thornton] to shore up Playoff chanced for this season. [Michael Young would seem to be an obvious fit for his versatility and could be had for a pitching prospect or two.]
        As always, your comments are astute and pithy.

        • John Fahrer

          Only way I’d move the guy to 1B is if he completely fell apart in range and agility. It’s likely he does move off of SS with Iglesias being a premium defender at the position. But the way they hype up Bogaerts’ athleticism, they’d be better off using him in a position where he gets to showcase it more. Middlebrooks isn’t exactly Brooks Robinson at the hot corner. A move to 1B seems likely for him. Whoever proves to be the better fielder between Bogaerts and Cecchini will determine who moves to the OF and who stays at 3B. Cecchini looks like an Alex Gordon-type who can adapt to either 3B of LF at the big league level. Another guy who should be at a position where he can showcase that athleticism more.

          I understand the argument for having Bogaerts at 1B since the trend has been the primary power source in the lineup playing that position. But he’ll put up the numbers no matter where he’s at. Youkilis usually left a little more to be desired at least from a power standpoint in his years at 1B. But he was by far a better defensive asset at the position than he ever was at third. So to will be with Middlebrooks. But the defensive metrics will be better with Middlebrooks at 1B and Bogaerts/Cecchini at 3B than vice versa.

          I like Marrero too. Good idea to hold onto him and see what he becomes. Same with the 2B prospects Coyle and Betts. Even though they’re roadblocked now, it’s better to let their stock rise some more.

        • Rick M

          Will continues to be of the whack and hack school ….no doubt near the top of the class in Dave Kingman and The Fundamentals of Low Contact seminar. At his young age and potential he would be excellent trade bait and the Sox can go into the baseball shopping mall for the next Jack Clark or Tony Armas.

          X Man is not exactly tearing up the IL but he may be to paraphrase “The Great Right Hope” of the future. Imagine a non fortified Manny (age 30) back in this lineup? That is the kind of player one can seek and the only one that matches that is now in Detroit.

          In the meantime the Sox have their “list” of who may make it big, small and never. Most GM’s will focus on big.

  • Crusader10

    I might consider Middlebrooks for Peavy, but when you consider that the Sox are doing much better than anyone expected this year, I would also hold onto the future. While I love Middlebrooks, there is a ton of talent that can fill that position in the near future.

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

      Yes, I could see a Middlebrooks for Peavy deal, or Will for Bud Norris, although Houston may be planning long-term and want a package of A-ball prospects. You may have read my previous post:

      “It’s time for Red Sox fans to practice “delayed gratification.” Instead
      of copying old “Yankee” model—annually recycling FA veterans to stay
      competitive every year–let’s give Ben Cherington, Lord of Discipline, some time—say a year, or, two—to build his “Next Great Red Sox Team”– a home-grown core of players that will be a contender for post season for a decade.” Nov. 9, 2012

      [http://bosoxinjection.com/2012/11/09/worth-the-wait-2015-home-grown-crop-cheringtons-next-great-red-sox-team/]