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White Sox Thu Aug 01 2013

White Sox Seller Mode Diaries, Peavy Edition

Sox_200.pngIt was Trade Deadline Day on Wednesday afternoon, and the flurry of (in)activity reminds me of one of my favorite baseball quotes. In 1992, Philadelphia dealt outfielder Von Hayes to California. Fellow Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was informed of Hayes departure and said, "Great trade! Who did we get?"

The trade for Jake Peavy generated the opposite reaction. Though the White Sox hinted they might not trade their number two starter, it was pretty clear that trading him was the smart thing to do. We knew he was leaving; the only question was where, and what would the Sox get in return.

That was answered late Tuesday night, when the Peavy trade was announced. He was sent to Boston in a three-team deal, with the Red Sox trading infielder Jose Iglesias to Detroit. Chicago ends up with outfielder Avisail Garcia from the Tigers and pitchers J.B. Wendelken and Francelis Montas and infielder Cleuluis Rondon from Boston.

The Sox get a nice haul for Peavy. Admittedly, the guys from the Red Sox are all Single-A guys who probably won't pan out. None were top-20 players in the organization, but each have some upside. Montas is 20, and is a high-strikeout starting pitcher and doesn't allow home runs. Wendelken is also 20, can touch the mid-90s on a fastball, and also has a high strikeout rate as a reliever. Rondon is a light-hitting middle infielder, but he's got a good glove and he's only 19.

The key is Garcia. He just turned 22 and he was a top-100 prospect coming into this year. Garcia should be a good everyday outfielder, maybe more. He has a strong arm and is known for his power but he's been replacement level in the bigs so far. In 139 plate appearances over two years, Garcia has only a .354 slugging average and two homers. He's not there yet, but he is a Major League-ready player and in last year's ALCS, Garcia went 5-for-11 with three RBIs. Not bad. He's also under team control for the foreseeable future: the earliest he'll reach free agency is 2019. That's good for a rebuilding club.

The big worry is that the Tigers gave up on him so easily. Sure, they wanted to acquire Iglesias because of Jhonny Peralta's likely suspension due to the Biogenesis scandal. But it's confusing that Detroit willingly traded a top prospect that could contribute right now for an all-glove shortstop. Isn't that odd? They could have plucked someone off the waiver wire next month for cheap. Do they know something about Garcia the Sox don't? Do they not believe in him?

Chicago's Jake Peavy era is over. The Sox got him in 2009 for four prospects that never panned out, and over the next four pieced-together years he had a 4.00 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Peavy was always gritty and always a competitor, but he only had one injury-free season on the South Side, pitching 219 innings with a 3.37 ERA for a team that nearly reached the playoffs. The trade frees the Sox from most of Peavy's expensive contract... that they signed him to last off season.

The Sox didn't get what the Cubs got for Matt Garza, but they got a solid package that will help them for the near and distant future. They turned Peavy, who's 32, has a 4.28 ERA this year and even missed a month and a half, for a team's second-best prospect. It's definitely not, as it was in the 1992 Phillies' case, addition by subtraction.

 
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