The Associated Press reported Saturday that the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a deal to bring veteran pitcher Jake Peavy to the Giants.
Details are still being worked out, according to the report. But the Red Sox will reportedly get minor league pitchers Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar.
The details being worked out likely involve money and other provisions. Peavy is making $14.5 million this season with the Red Sox, meaning he is still owed about $6 million. He has a player option of $15 million for 2015, but he is unlikely to reach the milestones to make that option vest. He would basically have to double his current innings output of 124 innings this season to allow that option to kick in.
Normally when Giants GM Brian Sabaen makes these midseason deals, I reserved judgment, preferring to defer to his better judgment.
The Giants have made several midseason deals over the past few years. Not all of the deals have worked out as the Giants hoped, but at least the Giants didn’t have to give up much to get them.
I wrote about this earlier, listing the prospects the Giants have given up in midseason deals the past five years. Really, only Zack Wheeler has amounted to anything, and the jury is still out on him.
But I’m going to say now that I don’t like this deal. To me, it represents of harbinger of bad news.
And here’s why.
CAIN SITUATION MUST BE BAD: When Matt Cain went on the disabled list after the All-Star break, manager Bruce Bochy said Cain could be down “one week, two weeks …. eight weeks. We just don’t know.” The Giants have been cagy with health reports of their players. So when they say they don’t know, we have to conclude they at least suspect. And the consumation of this deal must indicate they suspect that Cain may not return this season.
THE PRICE WAS TOO HIGH: In giving up Escobar and Hembree, the Giants parted with their No. 2 and No. 11 prospects, according to MLB.com’s preseason list of prospects. Both pitchers have appeared to be on the fast track to the majors in recent spring trainings. Escobar, 22, was thought to be in position to get a call-up this season, but he’s had a rough season in Triple-A. He’s 3-8 with 5.11 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 111 innings at Fresno. Hembree, 25, was thought to be the Giants “closer of the future” a couple of springs ago. But this season represents his third at the Triple-A level. He is 1-3 with 3.89 ERA, 18 saves and 46 strikeouts in 39.1 innings this season with Fresno. He was recently named a PCL All-Star. He did have a brief stint with the Giants in 2013, throwing 7.2 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts. So I might have been OK giving up one of these two pitchers, along with some lower-level prospects, for Peavy. But giving up both?
THIS AIN’T THE SAME JAKE PEAVY: This has not been a good season for Peavy, 33, in Boston. He’s 1-9 with 4.72 ERA in 20 starts. He leads the American League in home runs allowed with 20. Here are most stats for 2014 to sample
- His ERA+ of 83 is the lowest of his big-league career.
His FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 4.81 is his highest since his second big-league season in 2003 when he was 22.
His WHIP of 1.427 is the highest of his career.
His Hit Allowed Rate of 9.5 is the second highest of his career.
His HR Allowed Rate of 1.5 is the highest of his career.
His Walk Rate of 3.3 is his highest since 2002.
His Strikeout Rate of 7.3 is his lowest since 2002.
Looking for good news?
The Giants are clearly hoping that a return to the National League, where he hasn’t pitched since 2009, will do Peavy good. His four starts against NL teams this season have all been quality starts.
They are also hoping that pitching in AT&T Park will provide better results than pitching in Fenway.
Well, Peavy is 14-2 with 2.21 ERA against the Dodgers in his career also looked good to the Giants. Although it should be pointed out that most of those starts occurred in 2009 or earlier when Peavy was a different pitcher and the Dodgers were a different team. Peavy did limit the Dodgers to one run on three hits in a complete game win in Dodger Stadium last August.
And for good news, Peavy make be on the mound when the Giants face the Dodgers on Sunday night, instead of Yusmeiro Petit.