Baseball BeatAugust 03, 2009
Analyzing the Last of the Deadline Deals
By Rich Lederer

In a transaction that wasn't consummated until minutes before the trading deadline at 4 p.m. ET last Friday, the San Diego Padres sent Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox for Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter, and Adam Russell.

Although the trade wasn't popular with the San Diego media, I actually understand this deal more from the perspective of the Padres than the White Sox for three reasons:

1. The Friars are rebuilding for the future and trying to load up on good, young arms that can help the club in 2010 and beyond.

2. At $52 million over the next three seasons, Peavy's contract ($15M in 2010, $16M in 2011, $17M in 2012, and a $22M club option in 2013 with a $4M buyout) was a liability for an ownership short on cash.

3. Peavy is currently on the disabled list with a strained tendon in his right ankle and not expected back until late August. The unanimous 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner threw a 50-pitch bullpen on Sunday but will need a few more such sessions and a couple of minor league starts before joining Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Jose Contreras in the White Sox rotation for the final five weeks or so.

Peavy is a fantastic pitcher when healthy but, like an overpriced stock, may not be a good value at this point. He is clearly worth more to a team like the White Sox than the Padres.

In the meantime, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Richard has begun to pay dividends for his new team, allowing one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings in his NL debut on Saturday. The former University of Michigan backup quarterback should benefit from a change in leagues and home ballparks. The soon-to-be 26-year-old lefthander throws a low-90s fastball with sinking action plus a slider and change, and figures to be a mainstay in San Diego's rotation for the next several years.

Poreda, however, was the key to this deal. A first-round draft pick out of the University of San Francisco in 2007, the 6-6, 240-pound southpaw is a hard-throwing, groundball-inducing machine. He won't turn 23 until October yet has succeeded at every level, including 10 games and 11 innings in relief for the White Sox earlier this season. Poreda has started 48 of his 52 games in the minors and will be given a long look at one of the five spots in the rotation next spring.

The most intriguing pitcher in the group may be Carter, a 6-6, 22-year-old righthander who leads the minors in strikeouts with 143 in 118 innings (10.9 K/9). A project coming out of Old Dominion as a 13th-round draftee in 2008, Carter has whiffed 232 batters in 176 2/3 IP thus far in the low minors. According to Paul DePodesta, his fastball "runs anywhere between 87 and 93 mph" and Baseball America credits him with "a swing-and-miss curveball." He is being brought along slowly and is unlikely to reach Petco Park until 2012.

Russell, 26, was converted into a reliever in 2008. At 6-8 with a mid-90s heater, he is another tall, hard-throwing pitcher. His secondary pitches and command aren't particularly special although his curveball "rates as a plus pitch at times" in the words of Baseball America. He reported to Triple-A Portland and could be brought up to the bigs for a look-see in September when the rosters are expanded.

The Padres have now made two trades during the past month that have landed them seven young power arms, including four that had pitched in the majors prior to their arrival in San Diego. In addition to Richard, Poreda, Carter, and Russell, San Diego added Sean Gallagher, Ryan Webb, and Craig Italiano in a July 5 deal that sent outfielder Scott Hairston to the Oakland A's. Although Gallagher was the PTBNL in that 3-for-1 trade, he is just 23 years old and has already pitched parts of three seasons in the majors. The righthander has a terrific minor-league record (39-17, 2.73 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 0.5 HR/9) but needs to improve his command and makeup to reach his potential.

In Peavy, the White Sox get an eight-year veteran who is only 28 years old. General manager Kenny Williams pursued him in May but was unable to convince Peavy to waive the no-trade provision in his contract. The righthander could be a difference maker down the stretch if he can get his legs back in shape and regain his arm strength. However, let's not forget that Peavy (whose career ERA is a full run lower at home than on the road) will be going from the NL to the AL and from a pitcher's park (Petco Park) to a hitter's park (U.S. Cellular Field). Think Matt Holliday when he went from the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field to the Oakland A's and McAfee Coliseum.

While it may take two or three years before the Padres are competing for division titles and wild card berths again, management is focused on building an organization with more athleticism, depth, and sustainability than before. With the foregoing in mind, look for the Padres to sign high school draft picks Donavan Tate, Everett Williams, and Keyvius Sampson in the next two weeks and possibly move Adrian Gonzalez, Heath Bell, and Chris Young during the off-season or next summer if the price is right. Fans will need to be as patient as the ownership and front office, but the change in direction is likely to pay off in due time.

(For more on the Padres, be sure to check out Geoff Young's Ducksnorts as well as Friar Forecast and Another Padres Blog. South Side Sox is our favorite White Sox blog.)


There was some talk over the weekend of the dodgers being interested in Adrian Gonzalez. If you were the Padres GM what would you have wanted for him and if you were the Dodgers GM what would you have given up?

What I would want as the Padres GM and what I would be willing to give up as the Dodgers GM would never intersect. Owing to the fact that the Dodgers are very thin at the upper levels of the minors, the Padres would either demand a young star off the MLB roster like Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, or Clayton Kershaw; a number of lower-level prospects, such as Devaris Gordon, Andrew Lambo, Ethan Martin, and Chris Winthrow; or a combo of something like Andre Ethier and a couple of "B" level prospects like Josh Lindblom and James McDonald.

For their part, the Dodgers are not going to want to part with Kemp, Billingsley, Kershaw, Ethier, Gordon, Lambo, or Martin. Instead, they would most likely try to move James Loney in a deal for Adrian Gonzalez as there would be no room for both on the same club with the idea of sweetening the pot by including a McDonald/Lindblom/Withrow caliber pitching prospect.

However, the Padres already have a MLB-ready first baseman in Kyle Blanks, a 22-year-old who has hit well at each stop along the way, including the 5 HR he has cranked in just 108 PA in the majors this year.

Good question but you can see why I'm not surprised that no deal was consummated between the Padres and Dodgers for Gonzalez.

Considering how desperate the Padres are to dump salary combined with current economic trends, I'd say the White Sox overpaid for Peavy.

Good take on the trade.

If the Sox can over take the Tigers and make the play-offs, I love this trade for the Sox.

Buehrle, Peavy, Danks and Floyd is a formidable play-off rotation. I like the idea of having that group together for the next few years as well, letting Williams address offensive and bullpen needs going forward.

Richard has put together a couple good starts recently and I wish him well. Cleveland put 6 runs up on him with only one inning in the books recently, and they havent exactly been a juggernaut this season. Hes a good middle of the rotation guy going forward. Hes no Jake Peavy.

Poreda is young, hes big, hes a lefty, but he needs another pitch in my opinion to be a good starter. Other Sox fans Ive talked to all see him more as a closer than a starter and I feel like hes valued a bit high. Hes no Jake Peavy.

All season long I was wondering why the Sox left Carter in A-ball and figured he had to be trade bait because he seemed to deserve a promotion. Then we he gets dealt and I keep hearing about his minor league leading strike outs I feel like Im in on an inside joke with Kenny Williams. You guessed it, hes no Jake Peavy.

Adam Russell vultured 4 wins last season, I think in his first four appearances but his 1.5 WHIP tells the real story here. He may be effective if he can get some more control in a limited role. Hes no Jake Peavy.

Good trade for the Sox.

I wish he wouldve accepted the deal in May and had a dozen starts under his belt for the club already, but I think they lose Cunningham instead of Carter in that situation so this is ok since the race is still up for grabs.

At first I was mad that he felt the Sox weren't good enough for him and he thought the Padres were a better team but in retrospect the Sox were sending Brian Anderson, Brent Lillibridge, Wilson Betemit and Josh Fields out there on a regular basis in May, and I probably wouldve stayed in the San Diego sun, too.

Peavy has a pretty big contract but I think the White Sox can get the production they will pay for.

Eric, you will soon find out, along with most White Sox fans, that the 2009 version of Jake Peavy, especially outside of San Diego...

is no Jake Peavy either.