Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Did the Braves Miss Out on Peavy?

To start off, I will immediately point out that it is impossible to know what teams were interested in Jake Peavy.  While the Braves may have been one and other teams like the A's, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks have been suggested as suitors for the right-hander, you must take rumors with a massive grain of salt this time of year.  How much interest any of the aforementioned teams or any other teams for that matter had in Peavy is speculative.  Frank Wren may have never called the White Sox about the availability of Peavy, despite a wealth of reports that suggested otherwise.

However, if I may rosterbate all over you for a second, if the Atlanta Braves were interested in Peavy, watching the parade of quantity over quality that it took to acquire Peavy must have been disheartening.  Boston did give up Jose Iglesias, the second best player in the deal, but he didn't even go to the White Sox.  Instead, he was included to get the Tigers involved as they sought out a replacement for the likely suspended Jhonny Peralta.  In doing so, the Red Sox secured the outfield prospect Avisail Garcia from the Tigers (along with a minor league reliever that Boston kept) and sent Garcia with three prospects to the White Sox to get Peavy.

The problem, at least from the standpoint of this Braves fan, is the three prospects were not that good.  That's a relative term, but Cleuluis Rondon is a glove-first middle infielder with a 138 at-bats at A-ball.  Not even high-A ball, just A-ball.  That means he's young and the scouts probably believe he has potential to be a starter in the majors, but that's at least three years away and to this point, he hasn't hit that well (though his .277 AVG this season and .681 OPS are the best of his career).

Grabbing a guy from the lower minors who might be a high-reward guy would be fine when getting prospects you can count on a little more.  But the White Sox failed to get that.  20 year-old right-hander Francellis Montas is also in A-ball (the BoSox have three A clubs) and has gotten whipped around pretty good this season.  He's getting strikeouts, but also giving up a lot of hits.  Jeffrey Wendelken doesn't turn this turd of a deal into a coup for the White Sox either.  A minor league reliever with nice numbers is what you add to a great deal for a cherry-on-the-top.  The White Sox's best prospect in this deal came from the Tigers.

Abysmal take for the White Sox, but this isn't a White Sox blog.  Last Friday, in the aftermath of the Tim Hudson injury, I wrote about how Peavy could (and should) be a target for the Braves.  I was willing to offer Christian Bethancourt, Joey Terdoslavich, Tommy La Stella, and a player to be named later.  If the Braves entered into a bidding war with other teams vying for Peavy, maybe Kris Medlen comes onto the table with the White Sox kicking in $5M next year.

Boy, would I have gotten ripped off.

Again, who knows if Wren had much interest in Peavy and Garcia was ranked as the #74 overall prospect entering 2013 by Baseball America and John Sickels ranks him as a B prospect with poor strikezone judgement.  None of the other prospects were ranked.  But you would have thought the Braves could have come calling with a better starting package than the ones the Red Sox ultimately gave up.  Only a few days ago, there were reports that the Braves were balking at the demands for Peavy.  If this offer that the White Sox ultimately accepted was the best offered, the Braves seriously missed the boat.

I believe you never regret the deal you don't make.  Atlanta kept all of their players and whether or not Peavy would have been a big player down the stretch for them is debatable.  Some feel he is on his last legs, some (like me) believe he can still be a guy capable of solidifying the top of a team's rotation.  The Braves, unless something considerable happens before the deadline, seem content to stay pat and I felt that was reasonable.  However, if that package is the going-rate for a good starter...maybe the Braves need to kick the tires on every possibly available starter.

For that matter, hey Rick Hahn, that Peavy offer I suggested is also on the table for Chris Sale.

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