Regardless of whether Boston opts to buy or sell at this year’s trade deadline, tonight should be Jake Peavy‘s last start with the Red Sox.
Peavy was the return on the biggest trade of last season’s deadline as he came from the White Sox to Boston in a three-team deal which saw the Red Sox trade highly-touted shortstop Jose Iglesias to Detroit and three lottery ticket prospects to Chicago. He was not spectacular down the stretch run but he did his job and posted a respectable 4.04 ERA and 2.37 K/BB in 64.2 innings as he served as a very solid option at the back of the rotation, providing depth behind Boston’s front three of Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Clay Buchholz (who was still injured at the time of the trade).
However, this season hasn’t been quite so fruitful for either the Red Sox or Peavy. The Red Sox stand at 47-52 and are in fourth place and Peavy hasn’t helped out much as his ERA is the third-highest mark of his career at 4.59 and his peripherals don’t point to that being bad luck; his 4.72 FIP is the second-highest of his career and his 2.16 K/BB is the second-lowest as Peavy is objectively in the midst of one of the worst seasons of his career. Just a few weeks ago, it seemed that the Red Sox were likely to simply dump Peavy to a contender– both the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves reportedly showed interest– for a middling prospect in a move to clear space for their stockpile of pitching prospects at Triple-A.
However, as the Red Sox have begun to heat up (8-1 in their last 9 games), so has Peavy. He has strung together three good starts as he has a 2.84 ERA and 19/5 K/BB ratio in 19 innings in that timeframe. The Peavy situation has become unclear as the Red Sox may be interested in hanging onto the right-hander if they are looking to contend in 2014.
However, that would not be the right move for either the present or the future.
In all likelihood, Peavy is simply riding a hot streak and will probably not be this good for the remainder of the season. The Red Sox should cash in on his recent performance as they may be able to acquire a higher-caliber prospect than they could have done even a few weeks ago.
However, the real reason that the Red Sox should trade Peavy is so that they’ll be able to fit both Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa into the rotation. Some added time to see Workman and De La Rosa in Boston will help the Red Sox in both the present and future. Not only will it give the Red Sox a chance to look ahead at the 2015 season but Workman and De La Rosa also are quite likely to pitch better than Peavy for the rest of this season if the Red Sox do look to contend.
Once Peavy regresses to the level at which he has pitched throughout this season, both De La Rosa (2.64 ERA, 2.92 K/BB in 44.1 innings) and Workman (4.13 ERA, 2.16 K/BB in 52.1 innings) will give the Red Sox a better chance to win. Therefore, it’s quite clear that the Red Sox need to trade Peavy and soon. He was a great acquisition last season but it’s time to part ways with the 33-year old to help the Red Sox win both now and in the future. Hopefully he tosses a gem tonight and ends his Red Sox career on a good note, because that end should be coming very soon.
But tell us what you think. Should the Red Sox trade Peavy?