Trade Analysis: Better Late than Never – Jake Peavy Joins White Sox

In May, when Jake Peavy was first traded to the White Sox, he told GM Ken Williams, “Not yet, the timing isn’t right.”  Apparently, the trade deadline was the right time.  If you get told “we have to move you” for sixty straight days, at some point staying is less appealing.  So, one of San Diego’s best pitchers ever heads to the south side of Chicago for four young pitchers.

Chicago Gets:  A pitcher on the DL through August with ankle tendon issues, but could be making rehab starts in a couple of weeks.  Otherwise, Peavy is a dependable ace who eats innings and dispatches batters. They are paying for six starts in September – but also get Peavy for the next three years with an expensive option for 2013.  The top end of the Sox rotation going forward will be stable and solid:  Peavy, Buehrle, Floyd, Danks – arguably as good a rotation as anybody.

San Diego Gets:  It’s worked for some teams, but I’m not comfortable unloading an ace for prospects.  There aren’t many Jake Peavy types out there.  Anyway – four prospects means a one in four chance in replacing him.  Let’s see if they have a fighting chance.

Clayton Richard is already a fifth starter.  Looking over his minor league numbers he wouldn’t have struck me as much more than that, but he’s showing a little improvement and his overall stats in 2009 (so far) aren’t that bad (4 – 3, 4.65, decent K/9, but too many walks).  At 25, he has a little more room for improvement and to Richard’s credit, he’s improved every year through the system.  He may wind up a 3rd or 4th starter option.

Aaron Poreda already got a call to the bigs, but he’s probably not ready.  Just 22, he’s a former first round pick (2006) and his minor league numbers are more impressive than Richard.  If it’s me, I put him in long relief for the rest of this year and next and hope he’s in the rotation for 2011.  Poreda needs to work on his control – but it hadn’t been horrible in the minors.  Time getting out major league hitters in low stress situations would be the best thing.  He may not become an ace, but with a positive vibe, I’d take a third starter.

Dexter Carter is an interesting addition, in my opinion.  Carter has STUFF – blowing away batters at lower levels of the minors.  Hitters in the SAL league can’t wait for Carter to advance to AA.  He was a later round selection, but if anybody is going to turn into an ace, it’s a guy who strikes out 143 in 118 innings with just 32 walks.  When he makes the Padres in 2011, you’re adding him to your fantasy team and scooping up his rookie Topps card.

The fourth guy, Adam Russell, has had a shot in the bigs and isn’t really a prospect.  He’s gotten better over time – but at 25, he failed as a starter in the minors and has turned into a middle relief/mop up guy.  As of today, he’s a fringe MLB talent;I’d call him organization depth.

Winner?  Through 2010, probably Chicago.  However, if Dexter Carter continues to amaze and Aaron Poreda turns it up a notch, it could actually be a winner for San Diego.  I like what the Padres got in return – someone to absorb innings this year, two guys who could be in the rotation two years from now – possibly three if Richard keeps improving.  Two years from now, if the young guns are getting outs in the majors, the winner will be San Diego.

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