The Sox got Jake for specific reasons and he has, so far, done exactly as expected.
Peavy added some depth to a rotation that was being a bit singed around the edges. This was no baseball palooka like Aaron Cook or Zach Stewart. Dr. Cherington was looking for a cure and not an extension of the disease and so he went for Peavy. Another plus for Ben. Oct 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy (44) reacts during the fourth inning of game three of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The deal that was consummated had the factor in it that Peavy would be around for 2014. You don’t give up a talent like Jose Iglesias for a two month rental. So the Sox take on 14.5M for 2014, but that is a fraction of what a Cliff Lee would have cost – including prospect of the century Xander Bogaerts. A less painful dollar and talent option.
Peavy made a combined 23 starts in 2013 with his service with both Chicago and Boston. Peavy finished with a 12-5 record and an ERA of 4.17. Peavy checked in with a nice 1.15 WHIP and had very respectable H/9, BB/9 and K/9 numbers. If you extrapolate his 2013 venture into 30+ starts you get somewhere around a 15-8 record, rather Jon Lester like. I’d take that in 2014.
Where the 2013 season breaks down for Jake is the ALCS. No need to refresh unpleasant memories of that start against the Tigers. After about the third walk I would have traded him off for a Diet Coke and paid the salary. But reality does set in. A championship erases a good portion of a negative appearance.
In 2014 Peavy will be your #3 starter, presuming Lester and John Lackey are in one piece. I would normally have Clay Buchholz somewhere in the mix, but until Dr. House, Dr. Phil and Sigmund Freud give the thumbs up, I’ll reserve judgment on Buchholz. So Peavy becomes an integral part of defending the World Championship turf.
Peavy is a bridge for one year while the development of Matt Barnes, Henry Owens, Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman, and even, hopefully, Allen Webster takes place. The status of Peavy for 2015 will depend upon exactly how much progress is made in the pitching development. A decent 2014 for Peavy opens up the possibility of that one last big contract kiss either Boston or elsewhere.