On what has been one of the busiest trade deadlines in a long, long time, another team has made a big time move to try an make a playoff run this year. This time, the White Sox have acquired Jake Peavy for 4 other players.
First let’s focus Peavy. At 28 years old, he has cemented himself as one of the best starters in baseball. His career FIP is 3.46 and according to FanGraphs, he has totaled 25.6 Wins Above Replacement since he made his debut in 2002, which ranks him among the best pitchers in baseball during that span.
Signed for 3 more years at 52 million dollars, the White Sox now will be paying him as roughly a 4 WAR player when you assume a slight decline phase and factor in a discount for a long term deal.
So does Peavy figure to be worth that much? Well, ZIPS thinks him currently capable of a 3.24 FIP. If you raise that .5 points for moving out of PETCO and moving to the tougher league, than he projects to be about a 4.5 WAR player over a full season. Considering that the White Sox are right in the mix of the playoff race this year, and there are no teams who figure to run away with the division next year, this certainly seems like a good return for the White Sox.
Now who did they give up? Well… a lot. They traded away two young left handed starters, in Clayton Richard and Aaron Peroda, who have already seen time in the majors. Richard, in 136.2 innings over this year and last, has a 4.28 FIP, and ZIPS thinks him capable of a 4.54 FIP going forward. A quick look as his Pitch f/x numbers shows that he throws a fastball in the low 90′s, a 2 seamer, a slider and a changeup. With a career 3.29 BB/9, he is basically the definition of an average stater in the majors. Peroda has pitched in the pen so far in the majors; however, he profiles as a starter long term. In 11 innings this year he has a 3.33 FIP, and ZIPS projects him to have a 4.36 FIP going forward.
In addition to those two pitchers, who are both capable of league average numbers right now, and are cost controlled for the next 5-6 years; the Padres were also able to swindle two prospects out of the Sox. Dexter Carter, a RHP in Single A, was striking out nearly 11 batters per 9 and had a 2.84 FIP. Adam Russell is another interesting guy. He is 26, with only 26 innings in the majors, but stands at 6-8 and throws in the mid 90′s with the fastball. Also, in those 26 innings in the majors, he managed to put up a 3.32 FIP. Right now, he profiles as a reliever, but he has experience as a starter in the minors before.
So let’s review. The Padres trade 3 years of an expensive Jake Peavy for 3 major league ready starters, 2 of which are projected be be league average or better, and another good prospect in Carter. As a Cardinals fan, I thought trading Wallace for Holliday was too much; however, this deal makes that one look like a steal. In fact, just Peroda and Richard combined project to be worth the same to the Padres as Peavy would be to the Sox; and they are under team control for a combined 8 years longer.
Kenny Williams had better hope the White Sox make the playoffs over the next couple of years.