Likely the biggest trade of the deadline hours has happened at the end of middle America’s baseball day. The Matt Garza trade was taken care of days ago and it looks more and more like LHP Cliff Lee will not end up being traded…so here it is folks. In a three team trade involving the White Sox, Red Sox and Tigers, Peavy was sent to Boston…here is the complicated deal as it now stands.
Final deal: Peavy, Bryan Villareal to Boston. Iglesias to Detroit. Avisail Garcia, Cleuluis Rondon, Frank Montas, JB Wendelken to ChiSox.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2013
Boston Red Sox
The gem of this deal is clearly RHP Jake Peavy, unless you’re a Detroit Tigers fan. With the Tampa Bay Rays taking over first place in the AL East and showing absolutely dominant pitching, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington decided it was time to get talks moving and acquire a pitcher that can be slotted into one of the three pitching slots in a playoff rotation. Peavy has a deceiving 4.28 ERA on the season through 80.0 innings pitched, but has an xFIP of 3.68. More importantly he has very nice looking peripherals when looking at his K/9 (8.6) and his BB/9 (1.9). He is striking batters out at a respectable rate and not issuing free passes as well as any other starters.
Peavy certainly comes with injury history concerns but pitched 219 innings in 2012 and is at 80 so far this season. He won’t make it to 200 innings without a playoff run, but he may get to around 150 which would be a stark improvement over his injury plagued seasons between 2008-2012. Peavy will likely slot in roughly on equal footing with Lester behind Clay Buchholz (if he returns anytime soon from his DL stint). He could provide the pitching spark this team has been missing ever since the regression of Lester and the injury to Buchholz.
They had to deal the hot hitting SS/3B Jose Iglesias to complete this trade, but Cherington was dealing from a position of strength with Stephen Drew still playing well at the major league level and Xander Bogaerts ready to make his presence felt in the coming years in Boston. Selling while Iglesias is hot was the right move by Cherington.
Along with Peavy, the Red Sox are also getting RHRP Brayan Villareal from the Tigers. Villareal has some absurd K/9 rates in the minors, 14.1 in 2012 and 10.7 in 2013. However, he also is having troubles with walks this season as he has a 6.8 BB/9 at AAA and a startling 16.6 BB/9 in the majors (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE). He clearly has the stuff to be a quality arm in the late innings at the major league level, but he will need to get his control under control to begin contributing.
Adding up the middle defense with Iglesias to Austin Jackson
The Detroit Tigers sent away a power hitting prospect, something that is not in short supply on the major league club, in order to secure their replacement for the likely-to-be-suspended SS Jhonny Peralta. While Iglesias won’t produce as well as Peralta is supposed to with the bat (hot streak aside), he is widely seen as possibly the best defensive short stop since the great Omar Vizquel.
When Iglesias signed with the Red Sox, the NYY scouting report on him even then was: Best hands in baseball since Omar Vizquel.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 31, 2013
With his downright freaky start to hitting at the major league level this season, you can see here, he has built value, but Iglesias has seen a precipitous downfall since his .500 batting average days early in the season. His most recent numbers have fallen down to .330/.377/.410, but in 80 July at bats he has seen his triple slash drop to a more expected .200/.244/.213. This should definitely be a worry for the Tigers as they will likely be installing Iglesias into the starting lineup after Peralta accepts his 65 game plea deal suspension. He will provide value for the team despite his declining bat and the pitching staff will enjoy finally having an infielder that can pick it with the best of them. Despite the scarcity of defensive talent on the diamond for the Tigers, they now have two fantastic defenders up the middle with Jose Iglesias at SS and Austin Jackson at CF.
Chicago White Sox
The Detroit Tigers portion of this trade going to the White Sox is a decent haul in and of itself. Baseball America ranked OF Avisail Garcia as the #74 overall prospect and the #2 prospect in the Detroit Tigers system going into the 2013 season. However, this is a classic White Sox player. As Jason Parks would say, he certainly has White Sock Body as his nickname is “Little Miggy” and I’m guessing the little part is only out of respect to Miggy. He is reported to have above-average power and enough bat to actualize his power in the majors, but outside of that, he doesn’t seem to be too much of a defensive wizard in the outfield and if he continues to get bigger he may need to shift to first base at some point.
While Garcia is the headliner, the White Sox got a haul that also includes SS Cleuluis Rondon, RHP Frank Montas and RHP J.B. Wendelken. The gem of the three lesser prospects is the hard thrower coming from the Boston Red Sox in RHP Frank Montas. He was the #22 ranked prospect according to Baseball America prior to the season and has the ability to hit triple digits out of the bullpen. He projects as a high risk reliever, but the arm side run on his fastball is enough to make any hitter (even the great Byron Buxton) take a hopeless hack…according to Baseball America. Rondon and Wendelken look to be mostly throw-ins on the trade to satiate the need to get a high number of prospects in return. While Rondon might have a future as a defensive specialist at SS for the south siders, he likely won’t offer much else.
Cleuluis Rondon: Really smooth defensive shortstop. As for his bat, well . . . he's a really good defensive shortstop.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 31, 2013
All in all it looks like a decent haul very much in the mold of a White Sox haul with “Little Miggy” being the center piece. While it doesn’t seem to be as nice of a haul as their north side rivals got for Garza, Peavy comes with much higher risk than Garza does. This trade allows the White Sox to attempt to keep selling by putting SS Alexei Ramirez on the block without worry about the future. Whether Rondon would be ready before Ramirez is finished naturally is another question, but this trade completely shakes up the Top 10 for the White Sox system as Garcia jumps into 1st likely and Montas jumps into the lower tier of the Top 10. You have to start somewhere though and this does provide the White Sox with some much-needed minor league talent in a hopeless year.