The Red Sox are looking at a few different starting pitchers before Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline, and one of them might have just become easier to acquire. Jake Peavy, whom the White Sox have been asking an extraordinary amount for in any trade, is reportedly seeing his price come down with fewer than 24 hours to go before the deadline passes.
Apparently, Monday's bluff about building around a guy under contract for one more year didn't do the trick.
Despite interest from 4 teams - Red Sox, A's, D'backs, Cards - sense is White Sox are coming down on Peavy asking price. #RedSoxTalk— Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) July 30, 2013
Boston isn't alone, as you can see that three other teams with prospects to give up are focused on Peavy, but their chances are as good as any. Given the Phillies don't seem to be backing down from their desire for Xander Bogaerts in any Cliff Lee deal, Peavy might be the preferable option for the Sox even if he's nowhere near the pitcher that Lee is, nor under contract for nearly as long.
Originally, the White Sox were looking for a top-50 prospect as well as additional prospects, and for the team acquiring the right-hander to cover the full cost of his contract. The Red Sox, as they have with any negotiation, are in favor of either high-quality prospects or assuming the full contract cost, not both. If Chicago is willing to be flexible on one or the other, that might intrigue the Red Sox just enough.
Peavy is owed $14.5 million in 2014, and, as long as he's healthy by the end of that season, could be submitted a qualifying offer, giving whomever ends up with either another year of Peavy on their club or a compensatory first-round pick should he sign elsewhere. In between, Peavy will, with any luck, remain on the mound and effective. The latter hasn't been much of a problem for him, as he's been an above-average pitcher via ERA+ during his time with Chicago, but he's also managed all of 537 innings with them since coming over in a 2009 trade with the Padres. In 2012, he was his old self, making 32 starts with a 128 ERA+ and four times as many strikeouts as walks.
The Red Sox have the pitching depth to withstand a Peavy injury in 2014, and might even have it this year as well, assuming Clay Buchholz returns in time to compensate for a lack of Peavy. At the moment, though, he's healthy, pitching well, and likely going to be those things for a new club by Wednesday, if not sooner.
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