The Boston Red Sox made the biggest splash of this year’s trade deadline by acquiring veteran starting pitcher and three-time All-Star Jake Peavy.
The three-team trade also involved the Detroit Tigers getting slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox acquiring outfielder Avisail Garcia. A few minor leaguers were also included in the deal, but the above three players were the main components.
The Red Sox are right back in the fold after a dismal 2013 season, and with that being the case, Boston is going all in.
Clay Buchholz has been on the disabled list since mid-June dealing with shoulder and neck discomfort. At that point, he was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts.
The Red Sox starters did a fine job in Buchholz’s absence, but with a tight divisional race with the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees on the horizon, Boston chose to bolster its rotation by adding Peavy.
Peavy was 8-4 with 4.28 ERA in 13 starts for the White Sox before the trade. He shined in his Red Sox debut allowing only two run on four hits in seven-plus innings.
With the Philadelphia Phillies dangling ace Cliff Lee on the trade market, it almost appeared certain that the Red Sox would bring in the veteran lefty to really put themselves in great shape for a playoff push.
Boston likely made plenty of calls about Lee, but in the end, the Phillies chose to hang on to him. Either the asking price was too high for Boston or the team did not want to take on Lee’s huge contract.
But with Peavy, the Red Sox get plenty of experience and a guy who is excited to be playing meaningful baseball again. The White Sox are bringing up the rear in the AL Central at 24 1/2 games out of first place.
Even though he’s 0-2 in two career playoff starts, at least Peavy has some postseason experience. The Orioles traded for Bud Norris to bolster their rotation, but Norris has never pitched in the playoffs, since his previous four-plus seasons came with the Houston Astros.
As for Buchholz, he was throwing off flat ground, according to the Red Sox most recent injury update, but he should begin throwing off a mound soon. With Peavy in the mix, Buchholz can now be brought along gradually so that he is fully healthy before returning.
Peavy, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster will shoulder the load for the time being. The goal will not be to replace the undefeated Buchholz but to rather weather the storm until he’s ready to return.
It’s going to be a tight finish in the AL East, and the Rays have the pitching advantage by far. But if Peavy and the Red Sox pitchers can do their job, it’s going to be an exciting race to follow over the final two months.
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