Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves Should Trade for Jake Peavy

It’s pretty simple actually:  the Braves starting rotation – as good as it has been – is hanging on by a thread.

  • Tim Hudson – out for the year
  • Paul Maholm – out indefinitely
  • Brandon Beachy – very shaky outing last night; likely only a 5-6 inning guy for rest of year (if that).  Reports are coming out of the woodwork now that we shouldn’t expect him to be 100% until Spring.  Gee, we brought Meds back slowly last year.
  • Alex Wood – growing pains as expected; probably a year ahead of his schedule
  • Kris Medlen – yes, his last start was very good, but since the middle of June, his earned runs per start are 4,3,3,3,7,4,4,2.  He was good about five weeks at the start of May, and at the beginning of the year, but consistency has not be his forte in 2013.

That pretty much leaves Atlanta with Mike Minor and Julio Teheran as the stalwarts of the rotation.  And even Teheran has had his moments – giving up five, four (1 earned), and three runs in consecutive starts vs. Miami (twice) and Cincinnati earlier this month.

Atlanta needs an anchor.  And there’s really only one truly available:  Jake Peavy.

Yes, there are others out there with some crazy ideas – this one is especially nutty – but trades are 99.99% based in reality.  You don’t get Cy Young (or Cliff Lee) at the deadline for pennies on the dollar.  You don’t find Hank Aaron on the curb looking for a job.

The White Sox want to move Peavy.  Bad.  His bags are already packedHe isn’t making his scheduled start tonight.

Working against this idea is that the White Sox haven’t moved Alex Rios.  They moved Jesse Crain for sunflower seeds.  They failed to get a deal with the Cardinals to send Alexei Ramirez over.  They have been seeking high returns for the purpose of re-filling their famine-stricken farm system.  But so far – and today is July 30thabsolutely nothing.

This is a failure on the part of the White Sox front office, to be sure.  And they need to make some serious decisions today:  do they stand pat with a team that’s dead last in their division (behind even the Twins), or tear it up now, knowing that this is the time of year in which the best returns are available.

Enter the Atlanta Braves

Frank Wren doesn’t sleep.  He waits.  He lurks.  And now is the time to take the prey.

Jake Peavy is 32 years old.  He’s from Mobile, AL.  He is working a five year deal in which he is signed through 2014, with a 2015 player option that will never vest.  He’s due about $5.5m for the rest of the year, and $14.5m next year – essentially the same as Justin Upton‘s deal.  He would like to be a Brave.  Atlanta has pursued him before and fallen short in the effort.

This is certainly not a matter of cash.  The Braves will take Brian McCann‘s contract off the books next year, plus receive additional revenue from the new ESPN national contract.  They can afford Peavy.

This is not about a long term commitment.  He’s signed through 2014.  While the “kids” are getting acclimated to the big leagues, Peavy would be another veteran voice – like Tim Hudson – would could mentor them along.  But given his value, the Braves could themselves opt to flip Peavy elsewhere next year.  Even if he breaks down due to injury, you are not over-exposed on the contract.  The hope is that you’d use him as a reliable playoff starter this year… essentially as a younger version of Tim Hudson.

This IS all about prospect costs.  Again, that’s where the desperation of the White Sox lays.

The White Sox want somebody to take the contract AND give up significant prospects.  That’s simply unrealistic.  Even the Red Sox have reportedly balked at this.

Sooner or later (in the next 28 hours or so), Rick Hahn (White Sox GM) will take the best deal he has on the table.  He has to.  So here is what I propose that the Braves offer for Peavy’s services:

* Graham has been down with a shoulder issue since June – should be back next year, so despite his position as somewhere from #1-#4 on Braves’ prospect lists, the White Sox might want another option.  Cabrera and Sims are both a long way out – at Class A Rome.  Martin is at AAA Gwinnett.

Here’s the reasoning.  It is reasonable to give up one premium prospect for Peavy – hence Graham/Sims/Cabrera/Martin.  The entire rest of the list is a matter of “quantity” for the White Sox, so that they can plainly and accurately say “we have resolved our needs in the farm system”.  It’s providing a way for them to save face, frankly.  Of the players on that list, most would end up as trade bait for Atlanta within the next year or so.  Might as well do that now, when the payoff could be a ticket to the World Series.

FTW, Frank!

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Chicago White Sox Jake Peavy

  • carpengui

    1pm EDT UPDATE: Market for Peavy evaporating… (mlbtraderumors summary)

    Red Sox – pursuing Cliff Lee, though Xander Bogaerts is the sticking point. Could still go after Peavy.
    Orioles – may be in the process of landing Bud Norris
    Diamondbacks – have 2 pitchers returning; no interest… though Jayson Stark now says they are ‘kicking the tires’ again.
    Cardinals – not talking with White Sox
    Athletics – “have moved on”
    Pirates – were working on Norris; now said to be close for Alex Rios. If so, they would call it a day and go with existing rotation.
    Atlanta – very quiet – per usual practice.

    Price for Peavy is said to be a “top 50″ (overall) prospect in a 3-or-4 player package. JR Graham was ranked in the 90′s at season start (Julio Teheran was 44th; has ‘graduated’ off the list).

  • carpengui

    AJC Writer Dave O’Brien: “Braves not involved” with Bud Norris. 3 teams said to be heavily involved… Braves not one of them. (2:10 EDT)

    • fireboss

      Orioles or Pirates

  • cheadrick

    As I said in my interoffice memo ;-), I am now fully on board with the REAL need for the Braves to acquire a #1 or #2 type starter. The situation with our rotation is teetering on a precipice, and I’m afraid if we don’t bolster our rotation, we may not see October, let alone a respectable showing in the post-season. I don’t know that Peavy is our best choice, but you’re right, market is evaporating. Even just a week or so ago I might have said we need a bench bat worse, or better relief. However, after getting Downs, and hitting really coming around in the last four games, and with struggles of Meds/Beachy, etc. I REALLY hope we get a starter.

  • carpengui

    (2:35 EDT) “Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN 26s
    The Diamondbacks have been considering Peavy for weeks, and if they get cash adjustment,they could make a deal. Towers/Peavy history strong.”

    This is clearly a different report from others regarding Arizona – but also fits with their desire to obtain non-rentals.

    • cheadrick

      Well, consider the source please

    • fireboss

      I don;t trust Olney a lot I think Towers will sit on his prospects.

  • Pingback: Rienzo to start Tuesday, Peavy pushed to Wednesday – Chicago Tribune | Daily News Candy

  • carpengui

    ARRRGGG: 2:45 EDT:

    “Gordon Edes @GordonEdes 5m
    Source: Arizona emerges as front runner for Peavy”

    However… Jim Bowden just contradicted this report on XM. Who knows.

    • cheadrick

      Bowman also just wrote a piece on his blog that opines that Peavy is too expensive for the Braves. hrmmm

      • carpengui

        Yeah. Demonstrably not. I also sent him this link as a counterpoint.

      • fireboss

        The price will drop. The want to move him and will likely take back money too. If that happens however the Cards system is much stringer than ours in prospects and they would be favorites.

  • fireboss

    Dodgers sign Brian Wilson… will Donnie Baseball make Him Shave?

    • carpengui

      They’ll provide him with a Steve Garvey Halloween mask.

      • fireboss

        as long as he doesn’t wear a spnadex uniform

  • carpengui

    11::30pm Update: PEAVY to RED SOX. There’s a whole bunch of other things going on in this three-way deal, and frankly, I can’t believe that the Tigers are involved in helping to make it happen. I guess they don’t fear him in the playoffs at all.

    I guess the good news comes in three parts:
    1. The Braves didn’t do anything stupid to get him.
    2. The DBacks didn’t get him, nor anybody else in the NL (St. Louis, especially).
    3. Alex Wood gutted out a pretty decent start tonight.

    • fireboss

      Tigers needed cover for Peralta’s suspension. I suspect they sent a prospect to the White Sox and it was a courtesy move from the Red sox to help with that. Iglesias can’t spit an hit the ground lately so his bat isn’t an issue. Tigers lineup doesn’t fear any pitcher I doubt they even considered it was helping Boston.

      Wood’s performance tonight may actually have been helped by the cuticle issue making that pitch unavailable. He used his fastball more and when we jumped ahead the Rockies started trying to hit 5 run home runs on the first pitch helping Woody out. I’m happy for him and liked the way the lineup responded but, this was the Rockies pitching staff after all.

      Woody’s victory tonight doesn’t change our need. I never expected Peavy to come to ATL. I still think there will be surprise pitchers that fall to us next month even though we are close to the bottom of those who get to choose. I hope no one believes that this rotation as it’s constituted now is good enough to win it all