Poor Performance by Jake Peavy Was Inevitable

Jake PeavyIt was nearly a year ago when the Boston Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy in a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. The Red Sox were unsure about Clay Buchholz’s health, so they acquired the former Cy Young Award Winner for the stretch-run. Cashing in on Jose Iglesias’ aberration year worked wonders as Peavy was a crucial piece to the Red Sox’ World Series run. Yet, at least to me, it seemed the emotional right-handed pitcher was the recipient of quite a bit of luck.

He didn’t strike guys out at the rate he used to, his extremely high fly ball rate shouldn’t have transitioned well to the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park, and his BABIP was unsustainable. He threw all that out the window, and pitched splendidly in the second-half with Boston despite a horrible 6.26 K/9 and 2.64 BB/9, an even more unsustainable BABIP at .256, and an odd 6.6 HR/FB ratio considering his move to Fenway.

Peavy required a whole lot of luck to attain a mediocre 4.04 ERA and 3.79 FIP. However, what would happen next year when that luck inevitably ran out? His BABIP would likely deviate closer to his career .284 BABIP and so would his HR/FB ratio — actually, probably worse playing half his game in a full season in the not-so-pitcher-friendly Fenway Park.

Fast forward an offseason filled with doubt about Peavy’s 2014 outlook, and we’ve gotten to the point — nearly a year after the trade was made — where the Red Sox had no choice but to trade him and his abysmal 4.72 ERA and 4.81 FIP. In exchange for minor-league pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree, the San Francisco Giants acquired Jake Peavy Saturday morning.

Moving to AT&T Park should improve Peavy’s pedestrian numbers, but, still, he’s far from his former self. Although I remain a bit puzzled how one of the most Sabermetric-savvy front offices missed Peavy was destined for sharp regression. The Red Sox should have dealt the 33-year-old in the offseason when his value was greater, and watch with a smile as another team had to deal with Peavy’s foreseeable demise.