Grading the Jake Peavy Trade for the Boston Red Sox

Jake PeavyJake Peavy was shipped out of Boston Saturday afternoon for a pair of pitching prospects in the San Francisco Giants farm system. Did the Boston Red Sox get fair value in the deal for the struggling veteran pitcher? The 33-year-old had pitched fairly well for the Red Sox at times, but failed to get run support —or support a lead— which led to an unimpressive 1-9 record in 20 starts this season. His 4.72 ERA and 20 home runs allowed did not help his cause, but he also had the least run support of any starter in MLB.

Peavy had his lowest strikeout and walk rates since 2003 this season, and has only earned one win against AL opponents (May 29 against the Toronto Blue Jays) since joining the Red Sox last July. In return for the veteran right-handed starter, the Red Sox received minor leaguers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. Both are top 10 prospects in the Giants farm system and look to be pretty solid assets for the Red Sox, whether its for more trades or just options in the rotation/bullpen.

Escobar is a lefty starter who was the No. 2 prospect entering the 2014 season, but has struggled with a 5.11 ERA through 20 starts and a 3-8 record at Triple-A Fresno. Over the previous two seasons, the 22-year-old had dominated Double-A and Single-A leagues with a combined 2.88 ERA while striking out 268 batters in 259.1 innings of work. He did walk 62 batters in 2012 and 2013 combined as well, but command is something a 22-year-old can work on as he works on everything in the minors.

Hembree was rated seventh coming into the season and really lived up to those expectations by making the Pacific Coast League All-Star team and notching 18 saves in 41 games. The 3.89 ERA might not be too impressive, but the 25-year-old did have a 46:13 K:BB in just 39.1 innings of work at Triple-A Fresno. The 105 career minor league saves in five seasons might mean he has the makeup to be groomed into the next closer for the Boston Red Sox.

Another bonus for the Red Sox is that the Giants will be splitting the rest of the money owed to Peavy 50/50.

Ben Cherington really did his work on this deal and received two quality pitching prospects in return for a 58-game rental of Peavy. The Red Sox might not hold on to these players for long, but at least the team got something of value for a struggling veteran starter.

Grade: B+

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