It isn't every day you see a pitcher who is currently on the disabled list get traded for four players. Give White Sox GM Kenny Williams high marks for courage after Friday's deal that brought former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy to the South Side in exchange for Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell.
Peavy, 6-6 in 13 starts with the miserable San Diego Padres this year, hasn't pitched since June 13 due to a strained tendon in his right ankle. The Sox don't expect Peavy to pitch until late August, and it's anybody's guess whether they will still be in the AL Central race at that point. If they are, maybe Peavy helps them get over the hump in September.
Even if the Sox don't make the playoffs this year, this trade has a ton of upside for 2010. Can you imagine a healthy Peavy joining Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd and John Danks in the starting rotation? That would be a foursome formidable enough to compete with anybody in baseball.
But there are a couple risks here. First off, you wonder about Peavy's health. Secondly, he costs a lot of money. He's got three years and $56 million left on his contract, plus a 2013 club option for $22 million that carries a $4 million buyout. That's a ton of coin, especially for a budget-conscious team like the Sox. Will the Sox still have enough money left to address the glaring need in center field this offseason? Your guess is as good as mine.
Still, on the whole, I like the deal. I don't think the Sox gave up too much. I like Clayton Richard. I think he's going to be a good back-of-the-rotation starter, but back-of-the-rotation starters are hardly untouchable. Poreda, 22, has a lot of upside, but his offspeed pitches still need work if he's going to become big-league starter. Carter is a right-handed pitcher in A-ball who I don't know much about. Russell has had a couple chances with the Sox and has failed to take advantage.
Williams always has his hat in the ring. He's not afraid to go for it. That's probably what I like best about him. We probably won't know whether this is a good move until next year, but as a fan, you have to like it when your team goes out and adds an impact player.
A few other moves affecting the AL Central today: Detroit acquired left-handed pitcher Jarrod Washburn from Seattle. Minnesota picked up former Sox knucklehead Orlando Cabrera from Oakland. Cleveland continued its firesale by shipping All-Star catcher Victor Martinez to Boston.