Showing posts with label Jose Iglesias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jose Iglesias. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jake Peavy's struggles continue in Boston

The White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers made a major trade on July 30 of last year: Pitcher Jake Peavy went from Chicago to Boston; shortstop Jose Iglesias went from Boston to Detroit; and outfielder Avisail Garcia went from Detroit to Chicago.

It's been mentioned more than once that Peavy is the only one of the three major players in that deal to be healthy this season. Iglesias has missed the entire year with stress fractures in both of his legs, while Garcia suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder the second week of the season and is done for the year. Meanwhile, Peavy, who has spent time on the disabled list in five of the past six seasons, has made all 17 of his starts for Boston.

That said, it hasn't been a good year for the former NL Cy Young award winner. Peavy is just 1-7 with a 4.82 ERA in those 17 starts. He is winless in his last 12 starts after losing, 2-0, to the Cubs on Monday night. Peavy actually pitched well in his latest outing, allowing just a two-run homer to Chicago outfielder Nate Schierholtz over six innings. He was simply outpitched by Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta, who no-hit the Red Sox for the first 7.2 innings.

Respectable outing against the Cubs aside, the long-term trend for Peavy is not good. His 4.82 ERA would be the second-worst mark he has had in his career. His only worse year (4.92 in 2011) was his first year back from major surgery with the White Sox.

Peavy's WHIP (1.443), FIP (4.86) and strikeout rate (7.0 for 9 IP) all represent career worsts. He will be a free agent at the end of the season, and there are rumors he'll be on the move again at this year's trading deadline. The emergence of Rubby De La Rosa might put Peavy's rotation spot in Boston in jeopardy, if the Red Sox can manage to keep Clay Buchholz healthy.

There's no doubt White Sox fans are filled with despair when they see the likes of Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll making starts every fifth day, but know this: The Sox traded Peavy at the right time. If he were still in Chicago, he probably wouldn't be helping matters much.

It stinks that Garcia is down for the year, but he's only 23 and will likely bounce back from the injury. At this point in time, any team would rather have Garcia than Peavy. Even if the Red Sox are shopping Peavy this July, I'm not convinced any contending team will be eager to acquire him.

Even if Garcia struggles coming back from his injury, Chicago still might get something good from that trade. The South Siders got pitcher Francellis Montas from Boston in that three-team deal. Montas was recently selected to pitch in the MLB Futures Game, although he is now sidelined with a minor knee injury and will not be able to perform.

Peavy seems to be on the downside of his career. He may not be injured now, but he's pitching like a guy with a lot of wear and tear. He's not missed in Chicago. If you're a Sox fan, the players Chicago received in that deal are more likely to contribute to a contending team in the future than Peavy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wondering what the Tigers will do at shortstop

Free agent SS Stephen Drew
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias will begin the season on the disabled list and could miss significant time with stress fractures in both of his shins.

Infield defense has been a weakness for the Tigers the past couple years, but they appeared to have upgraded this offseason by moving Miguel Cabrera from third base to first base, trading first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler, moving on from Jhonny Peralta and installing Iglesias full time at short, and deciding to give prospect Nick Castellanos a shot at third base.

The key to this whole plan was Iglesias, who is a plus-plus defender at the most important position on the infield, and who would likely help cover up for some of the inconsistencies Castellanos has defensively. But Iglesias is not available to the Tigers now, so what is their Plan B?

The internal options aren't favorable. They acquired utilityman Steve Lombardozzi from the Washington Nationals in the Doug Fister deal this offseason, but I don't think shortstop is Lombardozzi's best position. He could play there in a pinch, but his main value is his ability to play multiple positions, and I wouldn't want him as a full-time shortstop.

Another option is Danny Worth, who has split time between the Tigers and Triple-A every year since 2010. Worth is an organizational depth kind of player, another guy you probably wouldn't want playing every day. He hit just .223 at the Triple-A level last year, and has never played more than 80 games at shortstop in a single season. He's also a nonroster invitee this year, which means he'd have to get added to the 40-man roster if he makes the club. It's unlikely he'll be Detroit's answer.

The Tigers also have youngsters Hernan Perez and Eugenio Suarez, who have been getting playing time in spring games in Iglesias' absence. Suarez has a good defensive reputation, but he's never played a game above Double-A, where he hit .253 last season. If I had to take a guess, he's not ready to make the jump to the big leagues.

That leaves Perez, who has played more second base since getting in 124 games at shortstop in Single-A as a 19-year-old in 2010. He was on Detroit's postseason roster last year and was used as a pinch runner. He has the potential to steal some bases, but he can't hit a lick. His .197/.217/.227 line in 71 major league at-bats last year probably doesn't inspire much confidence.

I wouldn't want any of these four guys as my starting shortstop. I think Detroit has to do something, especially with pitcher Max Scherzer, designated hitter Victor Martinez and right fielder Torii Hunter all in the last year of their contracts. There has to be urgency to win now, and Tigers brass can't afford to let this season swirl down the toilet because of a sinkhole at shortstop.

You have to believe Detroit is going to make a play for shortstop Stephen Drew, who is still a free agent. Drew is not as good as Iglesias with the leather, but he's at least above average. He's not dynamic with the bat by any means -- he hit .253 with 13 home runs for the Boston Red Sox last year -- but that would be much better production than anything the Tigers could hope to get out of guys like Lombardozzi, Worth or Perez.

I don't know what shortstops might be available in a trade. Longtime Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins has already said he won't waive his no-trade rights to go to Detroit. Maybe the Tigers have a trade option I'm not aware of. But, if no deal can be struck, don't they have to sign Drew? It just seems like an obvious fit.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jake Peavy heads to Boston in 3-team deal

Think the Biogenesis investigation doesn't have an effect on this year's trading deadline? Think again, because that whole sordid affair may have just allowed the White Sox to acquire their right fielder of the future (and possibly the present, too).

The Boston Red Sox had been interested in acquiring pitcher Jake Peavy for weeks. The White Sox were willing to deal, too, but the two teams were having trouble coming up with an agreement. It seems the Red Sox were willing to part with a top prospect OR take all of Peavy's salary, but not both. The White Sox wanted them to do both.

The deal might have fallen apart if the Detroit Tigers had not entered the fray. Detroit's All-Star shortstop, Jhonny Peralta, is about to be suspended as a result of the Biogenesis investigation. Lacking a suitable internal option to replace Peralta, the Tigers went shopping and decided they wanted Jose Iglesias from Boston.

However, the Red Sox wanted a front-line pitcher, and the contending Tigers aren't looking to part with any members of their starting rotation. The only way for the White Sox, Red Sox and Tigers to all get what they wanted was to consummate the three-way trade that went down Tuesday night.

Essentially, the Tigers gave up their top power-hitting prospect, 22-year-old outfielder Avisail Garcia, and pitcher Brayan Villarreal, to bring Iglesias into their organization to plug that soon-to-be hole at shortstop. The Red Sox then turned around flipped Garcia and three other prospects to the White Sox for Peavy.

This is an excellent deal for Boston. The Red Sox did a great job here. They acquired one helluva pitcher in Peavy and didn't give up any of the crown jewels of their farm system. They have organizational depth at shortstop. Veteran Stephen Drew is their starter at the big-league level, and their top prospect, Xander Bogaerts, a 20-year-old shortstop, could be ready for the majors by next year. Iglesias was expendable. He's much more valuable for Detroit than he is for Boston.

I think this is a good deal for the White Sox -- not a home run, but a double off the wall. Garcia is an experienced player for his age. He already has 25 postseason plate appearances under his belt. He played in the World Series last year. He is hitting .374 at the Triple-A level this year. It's clear minor-league pitching is no longer a challenge for him. He's ready for a full-time shot in the majors, and the retooling Sox should have plenty of at-bats to give him in the near future. In addition, the Red Sox took all of Peavy's contract. That's $14.5 million more the White Sox will have to spend next offseason. The acquisition of Garcia and the salary relief are the two pluses to come out of this for Chicago. The three other prospects the Sox got from Boston? Well, those are a bunch of ifs and maybes, like I always say.

As for the Tigers, they were pushed into a corner and forced to make this trade by the impending Peralta suspension. If not for that, they don't cough up Garcia at all, let alone allow him to land in the hands of a division rival. Garcia will have 18 opportunities each and every year to come back and haunt the Tigers over the next five seasons or so. But, Detroit is built for the here and now. This is the Tigers' window to win, and they can't afford to allow Peralta's stupidity to cost them a potential championship. So, they did what they had to do to add Iglesias, who will actually provide them a defensive upgrade at shortstop. No way he matches Peralta's bat, but he doesn't need to in that loaded lineup. The Tigers simply need him to catch the ball.

To sum up, great move by the Red Sox, good move by the White Sox, and the Tigers had better win it all this year to make this move worth their while.