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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Do Boston Teammates Call Buchholz “I-95”? Nationals Lose Olsen

Boston has a luxury that most teams don’t have – they have too much pitching…  Well, too much to stock at the major league level.  Tim Wakefield is going to rest his sore back on the DL for a couple of weeks – and the Red Sox get to call up Clay Buchholz.  Buchholz is a certified ready starter; he threw a no-hitter in 2007 and while he wasn’t stellar in 2008, he’s been dependable when needed in 2009.  Clay will get three more starts in Wakefield’s stead.  And then what?  Another trip to AAA?  It doesn’t seem fair (to Buchholz, that is) – and no trade with Boston will likely happen unless Buchholz or Daniel Bard is included.  And yet he sits in Pawtucket – #3 starter without a slot.  [ESPN]

Wakefield’s former teammate, Manny Ramirez, was hit on the top of his hand by a pitch and was removed from the game.  X-rays were negative, but the Dodger left fielder will be day-to-day. [ESPN]

White Sox starter John Danks will miss a start with blistering and a circulatory problem in a finger on his throwing hand.  Chicago hopes a DL stint will not be necessary.  [ESPN]

To deal with the Danks loss, the White Sox sent Aaron Poreda back to AAA Charlotte and recalled Carlos Torres from Charlotte.  Torres has decent stuff – gets strikeouts but occasionally fights his control.  In Charlotte, he has 96Ks in 98 innings, and just three homers allowed – very few hits, too.  He looks like he could peak as a #3 starter if given a shot, but there aren’t a lot of slots on the White Sox right now.  In 2010, Torres could fight for that fifth starter role.

As if the Nationals need more bad news, starter Scott Olsen will be out the rest of the season following surgery to repair his labrum in his throwing shoulder.  Olsen made only eleven starts for Washington this year.  [SI]

The Giants recalled Ryan Sadowski to make a start against Atlanta last night.  Sadowski hasn’t been half bad in four starts with San Francisco, and the Florida native has skills.  He missed two seasons in the minors with injuries, but has been a solid pitcher when healthy.  He could stand to improve his control, though…  The Giants are another team with a good amount of pitching.  Meanwhile, Scott Downs replaced Kevin Frandsen on the roster, swapping infield roles.  Finally, utility infielder Rich Aurilia went on the DL with an infected big toe.  [SI]

Welcome Back!  Seattle’s Mike Sweeney is back from the DL.  For now, anyway.  Colorado activated Ryan Speier from the DL.  Gaby Sanchez returns to the Marlins – he was pegged to be a starter in spring training but blew that shot.  Hopefully he’s ready this time.

Is it Over?  The Yankees designated Brett Tomko for assignment when recalling Sergio Mitre.  I didn’t even notice that Tomko had a job.  Tomko throws hard, but has been very hittable for about five years now.

Afterthoughts…  MLB is now using DNA testing and bone scans, when allowed, to test Latin American player (particularly those from the Dominican Republic) because of issues with kids (a) not being who they thought they were, and (b) lying about their age.

Strasburg #1 Pick; Nationals Apply for Bailout Funds

As expected, the Washington Nationals took Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in the draft.  Getting someone with his credentials (195Ks in 105 college innings this year) is certainly exciting and one hopes he is immensely successful for both the team and his career.   I wonder if any Jayhawks will get drafted…  I mean, we need more Jayhawks in the Majors (Tom Gorzellany!).

The draft dominates most baseball coverage, but a few other things happened and are recounted here:

Brad Lidge, erstwhile Phillies closer, goes to the DL with a sprained knee.  I first saw this on a twitter post by Will Carroll, who writes the Under the Knife articles for Baseball Prospectus.  Carroll’s comment suggested that the injury was his pitching and the knee is a convenient DL excuse.  If you have Lidge on your fantasy roster, look for Ryan Madson to get save opportunities.  However, J.C. Romero is also back from his PED suspension and might get a shot or two.  Joining the Phillies is backup catcher Paul Bako.  Really?

Joining Lidge on the DL is another struggling pitcher, Bartolo Colon, who also heads to the DL with a sore knee.  Getting a shot is the White Sox’ 2007 top pick, Aaron Poreda.  Poreda has been solid in his two years and is carrying a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts with AA Birmingham.  Until this year, he showed great control, a lot of strikeouts, few homers allowed, and has been ranked by Baseball America as one of the two best prospects in the ChiSox chain.  He’ll start in the pen, but he COULD be a rotation fixture in the near future.  I’d certainly be interested in giving him a shot.

Toronto’s Jesse Litsch, a 13 game winner last year, has been on the DL with soreness in his elbow since mid-April.  Now, his season is done, as he’s heading to Dr. James Andrews for surgery.  He and Shawn Marcum were solid rookie starters last year, and now both are going to be recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Very sad.

Welcome back Scott Schoeneweis, who was removed from Arizona’s restricted list.  Schoeneweis has been out following the stunning death of his wife several weeks back.  Also returning from the bereavement list is Brewers Mark DiFelice.  Heading to the bereavement list, however, is Giant first baseman Travis Ishikawa.

Nobody signed Kip Wells or Kris Benson off the waiver wire, so both got assigned to AAA.  Meanwhile, Blaine Boyer is with his third major league team this year as sort of a fluke.  Boyer was traded from Atlanta to St. Louis in late April.  A few days ago, Boyer pitched five innings of relief for St. Louis.  St. Louis, needing arms, couldn’t just send Boyer to the minors (he was out of options) so they had to ask waivers and bring up a new pitcher.  Hoping he’d sneak through, it didn’t work – Arizona claimed him.  So, now Boyer is a Diamondback reliever.

J. J. Putz, injured Mets reliever, had surgery to remove bone spurs.  He should be back in a couple of months.  The question is whether or not the wounded Mets can still be in the NL East race then.

Not sure why,  but the Rays signed released reliever Jorge Julio to a minor league deal.  Bad idea.

Colorado traded struggling reliever Jason Grilli to Texas for cash.