Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has broken news (via Twitter) that the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox have agreed to a trade that will send starter Jake Peavy to the Red Sox. It is believed, but unconfirmed at this time, that Jose Iglesias will be headed to the Detroit Tigers as part of what appears to be a three-team deal.
It became apparent that Chicago was close to dealing Peavy earlier today. He was scheduled to start tonight’s game in Cleveland, but was scratched so that general manager Rick Hahn could entertain offers for the veteran right hander on this, the eve of the non-waiver trade deadline.
The Red Sox had originally been hot and heavy in pursuit of Philadelphia Phillies starter Cliff Lee, but never could meet the Phillies’ high asking price. Unable to put a package together for their first choice, Boston brass likely began to turn their attention toward Peavy late Monday night.
The need for a starter arises out of concerns over the health of Clay Buchholz, who had been Boston’s best starter before landing on the disabled list with a strained neck back on June 9. It’s still unclear when Buchholz will be ready to return to the Boston rotation, if at all.
The A’s, Diamondbacks and Cardinals were also reported to have been interested in Peavy, but were either unable to put together an enticing enough package to exchange for him or could not get rid of enough contracts to make his salary fit into their payroll.
Peavy’s current contract runs through the 2014 season, during which he is set to make $14.5 million.
Through 13 starts this season, Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA and 76 strikeouts. He will take Buchholz’s spot and fill out a Red Sox rotation currently made up of Jon Lester, Felix Doubront, Ryan Dempster and John Lackey.
Iglesias is a 23-year-old shortstop who is a prodigy defensively, and who has surprised with his offensive stats in 2013 (.330/.377/.410, 115 OPS+, 1.5 rWAR). However, those numbers are a little inflated from a hot start, and his performance at the plate has tailed off significantly since. Through his first 34 games, he was hitting .434/.484/.575. In the 27 games since, he’s hitting .212/.248/.222 with one extra base hit and two walks (105 plate appearances).
There is no questioning his glove. The question surrounding Iglesias is whether he will be capable of swinging a big enough stick to warrant a starting job for a big league team. But Detroit does not have the luxury of playing wait and see.
Current shortstop Jhonny Peralta is expected to be one of the players who will reportedly accept a 50-game or more suspension as part of Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis investigation. That would cause Peralta to miss the remainder of this regular season and create an obvious infield whole that Iglesias would be asked to fill immediately.
It will be interesting to see if Detroit entertains the thought of signing Iglesias to any type of extension. Iglesias will be a free agent at the end of the year, as will Peralta. Iglesias’ offensive performance from this point forward in the season will likely dictate what the Tigers decide to do at short for 2014 and beyond.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has tweeted that Tigers outfield prospect Avisail Garcia will go to the White Sox. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Tigers right-hander Brayan Villarreal is likely headed to the Red Sox as part of the deal as well.