On Saturday, the Boston Red Sox traded starting pitcher Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for a couple of prospects. This deal could have ramifications for many teams in baseball, including the Cincinnati Reds, despite the fact that the Giants play in a different division and the Red Sox toil in the other league.
The most obvious effect of Peavy’s taking up late-summer residence in the Bay Area is that the move strengthens one of the Reds’ chief competitors for a playoff spot — that would be the Giants if you’re following along at home. The Reds finally broke seven-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday afternoon and now stand five-and-a-half games back in the National League Central and three back in the Wild Card chase with about half the league in front of them. Any trade that helps one of those teams, like the Giants, is a blow to Cincinnati’s already fleeting post-season hopes.
The other, perhaps more subtle, impact of the Peavy deal for the Reds is the base framework it established for the cost of starting pitching this season. As reported by Charlie Wilmoth at MLBTradeRumors.com, the Red Sox received Edwin Escobar and Heath Embree as compensation for the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, both of whom seem to have good upside. Escobar is 22 and could develop into a mid-rotation starter, while Embree has the look of a future closer.
Peavy’s 2014 numbers are not all that great (1-9 record, 4.72 ERA, 83 ERA+ in 124 innings), but he has a pedigree and was basically league-average in 2013. If he can command two prospects in trade, then you might reasonably assume that a starter sporting significantly better season numbers (12-5, 2.86, 130 in 126 innings) could bring an even better hall. Reds fans will likely recognize those stats as those of Alfredo Simon, who has become a staple of Bryan Price’s surprising rotation this season.
In the end, Peavy’s arrival in San Francisco provides more solid fodder for Reds general manager Walt Jocketty to consider as July 31 (non-waiver trade deadline) approaches. It’s time to make a move, and Jocketty should be selling.