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After weeks of swirling rumors about Jake Peavy moving to just about every team in the league, the Red Sox swooped in and snatched the oft-injured ace in a three-team deal with the Tigers. The Red Sox sent Jose Iglesias to Detroit where he’ll replace presumably-soon-to-be-suspended Jhonny Peralta while the Tigers sent top prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox. Let’s take a look at who this trade impacts most and who will step in to replace Peavy in Chicago.
Jake Peavy: When you get Jake Peavy, you don’t just get one pitcher, you get three. One is a true ace with great stuff and a healthy dose of strikeouts. The other is a mediocre starter who has a propensity for giving up the longball. The other is on the DL.
Over his first nine starts this season, Peavy looked as good as ever, going 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA, .218 BAA, and 63 K/15 BB over 60.2 IP. Over his last four starts, he owns a 8.38 ERA, .313 BAA, and has allowed six home runs. He also missed a month and a half of the season with a fractured rib.
On the season, that all adds up to an 8-4 record with a 4.28 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 1.6 HR/9, and 76 K/17 BB over 80 IP. A far cry from his 3.37 ERA last season. To make matters worse, he’s moving to a park that may not be too kind to him. According to Baseball-Reference’s Neutralized Batting, Peavy’s ERA would be around 4.86 this season and 3.76 last season had he played in Fenway and more games against the AL East. The AL East features four of the American League’s top six offenses and the Yankees are improving. On the other hand, Boston is a harder place to hit home runs in than U.S. Cellular Field and that’s been Peavy’s biggest problem.
That said, Peavy should at least do better than he had in his last four starts for the Sox. He’s healed up now and is moving to a team with their eye on the World Series. Peavy has only made it to the Playoffs twice, in 2005 and 2006 with San Diego, losing to the Cardinals in the NLDS both times. With about 11-12 starts left, I can see Peavy putting up a 3.50-ish ERA the rest of the way with a solid sub-1.20 WHIP, 8.0-8.5 K/9, and hopefully get that HR/9 down to a reasonable 1.0-1.1.
Andre Rienzo or Dylan Axelrod: Even with Peavy gone, the White Sox are left with a promising young rotation featuring Chris Sale, Hector Santiago, Jose Quintana, and John Danks. The question is who slides in to replace Peavy. Brazilian prospect Andre Rienzo made a strong case on Tuesday, allowing no earned runs (three unearned), five hits, three walks, and striking out six over seven innings against the Indians. He’s looked both great and mediocre in the minors. He went 8-6 with a 4.06 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 113 K/46 BB over 113 IP this season. Last season, he was far better as he went 7-3 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 113 K/42 BB over 103 IP.
On the flip side, Dylan Axelrod has already started 18 games this season but was pulled from the rotation after putting up a 9.32 ERA, .402 BAA, and giving up 11 HR over his last six starts. He’s only seen one relief appearance since July 10.
Rienzo is ChiSox’ manager Robin Ventura‘s best bet right now and with a career 9.7 K/9 in the minors (9.0 this season, 9.8 last season) he deserves a look by fantasy owners. If he can build on his first start, he’ll fit in nicely in the White Sox young rotation.
Jhonny Peralta: Peralta is expected to be suspended by the MLB by Thursday or Friday when the Biogenesis suspensions are announced. It’s a tough loss for both fantasy owners and the Tigers. Peralta came back in a big way this season, putting up a .308/.363/.460 line with 10 HR, 53 RBI, 47 R, and 28 2B. Peralta owners could take a look at Nick Franklin, Andrelton Simmons, Brad Miller, and Yunel Escobar on the waiver wire.
Jose Iglesias: Iglesias had a great first half and made a name for himself. Ultimately, all it did was overinflate his value and give the Red Sox a huge bargain on a quality pitcher. After batting an incredibly impressive .415 through July 2, he is batting just .188 in 23 games since. It’s an expected drop to say the least and with his average at .330 on the season, it will certainly drop further. Iglesias batted just .202 in 33 Triple-A games this season and .269 in 90 games last year. He owns a career .257 average in the minors. He only has 19 RBI and 27 R on the season and while he may still be in line for some runs in Detroit’s lineup he doesn’t figure to be fantasy relevant the rest of the way.
Avisail Garcia: Personally, I think Detroit gave up the most in the trade and got the least back. Sure, the Tigers are losing Peralta but a top prospect for a flash-in-the-pan defensive shortstop? Garcia is a career .289 hitter in the minors. This season, he owns a ridiculous .380/.424/.561 line in the minors with six homers, 27 RBI, 32 R, 16 XBH, and six steals in 39 games. Last season, Garcia batted .299 with 14 HR, 58 RBI, 78 R, and 23 SB. In an 83 at-bat stint in the Majors this year, Garcia batted just .241 but did add 10 RBI, six extra-base hits, and 12 R in his very limited playing time.
With Alex Rios likely to be traded by the White Sox, Garcia would almost certainly step in to replace him and would likely have more value than other guys who have recently been called up like Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick, and Henry Urrutia.
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