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Report: Jake Peavy, Will Middlebrooks swap being discussed

Jul 24, 2013, 11:49 PM EDT

Jake Peavy Getty Images

MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports that Will Middlebrooks’ name has come up in trade talks between the White Sox and Red Sox regarding Jake Peavy.

The Red Sox, on the hunt for a starting pitcher with Clay Buchholz out, scouted Peavy’s last start against the Braves and will take another look at him Thursday, when he matches up against the Tigers and Justin Verlander.

A deal sending Middlebrooks to Chicago would be ironic, since it was Middlebrooks’ emergence that played in a role in the Red Sox practically giving away Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox last summer. If the Red Sox were to part with Middlebrooks now, they’d seemingly be setting themselves up to go forward with a Xander Bogaerts-Jose Iglesias left side of the infield in future years, though Bogaerts probably won’t be up for the start of 2014.

Peavy would be a risky acquisition for Boston. He’s made 30 starts just once since 2007, and he’ll fall short again this year after missing time in the first half with a fractured rib. When healthy, he’s gone 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA and a 69/15 K/BB ratio in 73 innings for the White Sox. And while it’s so long ago that it probably doesn’t matter now, Peavy was a disaster in his only two postseason starts, going 0-2 with a 12.10 ERA for the Padres in consecutive NLDSs with the Padres in 2005 and ’06.

As for his contract situation, Peavy is making $14.5 million both this year and next. He also has a $15 million player option for 2015, but that only kicks in if he throws 400 innings these two years and that probably isn’t happening.

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12:02 a.m. EDT update: WEEI’s Alex Speier is already refuting this one. His source says there’s been no mention of Middlebrooks in trade talks.

  1. lolnfl - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    this cannot be serious right? lol whitesox.

  2. Glenn - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Middlebrooks might be the better pitcher at this point.

    • baseballisboring - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      ? I mean, 4.19 in a tough park for pitchers isn’t that bad…

      IMO, yeah, the acquisition of Peavy would be risky, but I’m not (as a Sawx fan) concerned with giving up Middlebrooks at this point. He’s been dreadful this year…I don’t think he’s this bad, but he had plate discipline issues all through the minors and he hasn’t improved on it yet in the big leagues. Maybe he will, but I think it’s gonna be Bogaerts and Iglesias in 2014 regardless.

      Peavy is still a pretty good pitcher I think, but the hangup about his health is definitely important, considering their 2 best pitchers this year (Buchholz and Lackey) have their own durability issues. Don’t wanna have like, $50MM sitting on the disabled list. If it’s Peavy for Middlebrooks, and Middlebrooks is the best player going the other way, I’d pull the trigger if I’m Boston.

  3. bostongirl5 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    this is just stupid. we need WMB we cant just say Boegarts will be our 3B next year for sure he hasn’t even played one major league game. So no way can we give Middlebrooks away without a secure backup. One thing for sure though Drew can not stay in the lineup. Holt and Snyder are just okay players but once Middlebrooks is healthy again he will take over that spot just like last year so give him time and another chance. Do not get Peavy he is inconsistent.

    • paperlions - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      There just isn’t a lot of evidence that Middlebrooks is…you know…very good. He Ks a LOT, and he doesn’t walk at all. That makes it really hard to be a productive hitter. As soon as MLB pitchers had some video of him, they started attacking the holes in his swing and just not throwing him strikes, because his command of the zone is poor. A combination of low contact rates and poor plate discipline is really hard to overcome, especially for a player whose only potential plus attribute is at the plate.

    • Joe - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      I say this as a fan of Will Middlebrooks potential – I’d do this if I were the Red Sox. No, Boegarts hasn’t played an inning in the majors, but he put up great numbers in Portland and he’s been very respectable in Pawtucket as one of the youngest players in the league. Watch him play a few games – he’s an outstanding hitting prospect. He’s a big kid whose already very good power is going to develop further. I bet he’ll be able to hold his own if he’s in the bigs next year.

      Iglesias is the guy who worries me for the long term. I’m not convinced that his improved hitting is for real. He’s certainly coming back to Earth quickly the last couple of weeks.

  4. bendover09 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Trade bait for later on ??? Maybe

  5. jputignano - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    In Garza’s debut; Rangers top the Yankees 3-1 http://wp.me/p2mgR4-2d

    • uyf1950 - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:36 AM

      Another fan that apparently is infatuated with the Yankees. Even though this blog has clearly nothing to do with either the Yankees , their game or the Rangers.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        This guy has posted that same link on every page I’ve visited today.

  6. proudlycanadian - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    FREE WILLY! Trade him!

  7. sabatimus - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Peavy strikes me as the kind of pitcher who would absolutely implode for Boston.

  8. turdfurgerson68 - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Not saying that history repeats itself but this trade could very well end up like larry anderson-jeff bagwell 2.0

    • 18thstreet - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      You’re an idiot.

      The only similarity is that the Red Sox have a potential logjam at shortstop and third base. Assuming Igelias is the shortstop of the future, Middlebrooks and Boegarts are both options at third, and Garin Cecchini and Deven Marrero also have some real potential, too. (It’s hard to see how Deven Marrero ever plays a game in Boston, but I’ve been wrong before.)

      Bagwell hadn’t played a single game above AA at the time of the trade, but he had an AA OPS of 880, including an onbase percentage of .422! When has Middlebrooks shown that kind of talent? He hits for power, and fields well. But he also has no plate discipline, which is why he’s back in the minors. (Bagwell was 24 at the time of the trade, as is Middlebooks now. Bagwell should have been at first for the 1991 season. Heck, they could have moved Boggs be part-time DH instead of signing 98-year old Jack Clark. (God, they were so studid. And to think some people want to blame the curse of the Bambino instead of rank incompetence.)

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=bagwel001jef#standard_batting::none

      Anderson was a 37-year old well-traveled right-handed middle reliever, and due to be a free agent after the 1990 season. (The Red Sox got 22 innings out of him.) Peavy is a starter, and would still be a Red Sox in 2014.

      In 1990, the Red Sox were fighting with the Blue Jay for a chance to be demolished by the A’s in the ALCS (which they were), whereas the 2013 American League pennant within reach for several good teams.

      Every trade is not Bagwell for Anderson. And if Lou Gorman weren’t an idiot, the trade might have been Scott Cooper or Carlos Quintana for Anderson and we never would have regretted it.

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        The only idiot is you.

        Hence the “Not saying history repeats itself” wording at the beginning of the quote.

        Anderson was old…Peavy is old and very injury prone.

        Bagwell had demonstrated potential….so does Middlebrooks.

        Your statistical mastbation nonwithstanding, there are clear similarities.

        Not every trade is Anderson for Bagwell, nor will this one be (Cherington is no Gorman).

      • rje49 - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        Middlebrooks “fields well”? It was getting so I cringed when a ball was hit to him. I could finally relax when he was send down.

    • petcharles - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      I think WMB is more like Shea Hillenbrand v2.0. He has more pop and plus defense compared to Shea – both good qualities in a ML player and nothing to sneeze at – but his lack of plate discipline kills him. (Alas, there’s little evidence to suggest batters develop plate discipline; it seems they are either born with it or aren’t.)

      If these teams were to trade and it ended up being WMB for Peavy, I think the Red Sox should be pretty happy. Then again, I think WMB has a ML career ahead of him as a 3B because of the glove and pop, and the way 3B has gone for the Red Sox this year, it’s possible he’s their best option this year. But to solidify the rotation with someone like Peavy for 2013-14, even with his injury record, would be hard to pass up.

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Excellent points, though its safe to say (at least so far) that Middlebrooks hasn’t displayed any of the locker room cancerous venom that ol Shea was famous for.

  9. 13arod - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Whitesox ask for more this time u dont know if middlebrooks will be good again or not

  10. psousa1 - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    No, no & no! No way they will give up on Middlebrooks. The White Sox would would send their front office over to his house to get him packed and put him on a plane for that deal. Middlebrooks is not a lost cause. He didn’t accidentally hit 15 HR and drive in 50-60 runs last year by mistake (not sure of exact number). You just see his approached is all f*cked up. He needs to stay in AAA to get himself together and right now he might be their first option at first or third base next year.

  11. gonderfan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    If our White Sox want a half-season-wonder third baseman so bad, why not instead trade Danks for Luis Cruz?

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