The big news of yesterday was the huge Cliff Lee trade, in which the Mariners shipped out there ace lefthander as a three-month rental for four young players, including possible future star first baseman Justin Smoak.
That overshadowed the news that White Sox righthander and former Padre ace Jake Peavy will miss the rest of the reason with a torn muscle.
Of course, last year, Peavy was shipped to Chicago in July for four prospects, much like Lee was yesterday.
And now, here we are, a year past that blockbuster. And what has that deal given the Padres and White Sox?
(more after the jump)
The White Sox got Peavy, whose numbers took a predictable hit pitching in a hitter-friendly park in the DH league with better hitters. He put up a solid 4.06 FIP for half a year and then got hurt, ultimately being “worth” about $7.3 million according to Fangraphs, which is less than his salary. He’ll need to really rebound to even be worth his contract, let alone be a bargain and make up for the loss of Clayton Richard.
Richard, by the way, is better than Peavy, although not by as much as you’d think–his xFIP is just .17 below Peavy’s. The park, league, and defense have a lot to do with their 1.65 ERA discrepancy.
The thing is, that makes the deal a win for the Padres by itself, but it doesn’t look like anything else is really going to come out of the deal.
Aaron Poreda and Dexter Carter regressed terribly the second they entered the San Diego organization, and have both been demoted to levels below where they were in the White Sox system. Poreda can’t throw strikes, and Carter can’t really do anything. Adam Russell might be a solid middle reliever, but he’s 27, can’t stick with San Diego, and he’s been hit around in Triple-A.
Ultimately, this trade boiled down to the White Sox getting a veteran mid-rotation starter and giving up a young mid-rotation starter. Yes, the Padres made out better in that deal, since Richard is younger and cheaper and has more upside and years of team control, but the huge blockbuster trade wound up simply being a swap of solid-but-unspectacular starting pitchers.
Sometimes, these things just don’t live up to the hype, and both teams wind up getting underwhelming returns. We’ll see what happens with the Cliff Lee trade and the other major deals that go down, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a much-hyped move winds up bringing little in the way of tangible returns on either side.