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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Reviews in on Peavy deal: Thumbs up

By Gordon Edes

BOSTON -- High praise from former general manager Jim Bowden of ESPN.com for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington in the wake of the Jake Peavy deal. In a story that appears on ESPN Insider, Cherington gave Cherington an “A” grade and wrote:

“Cherington has quickly become one of the best in the game. He added Jake Peavy, who was the second-best starter traded, and Matt Thornton, who gives them a much-needed lefty out of the pen. Best of all, they didn't have to give up any of their top prospects (such as Xander Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley Jr.) to make it happen.’’

ESPN.com analyst Keith Law also gave the Red Sox credit for the Peavy trade. In another piece for ESPN Insider, Law wrote in part:

“The Red Sox get Peavy and [Brayan] Villarreal for a modest return, giving up a potential everyday shortstop and three long-shot minor leaguers, none of whom is likely to come back to bite them. Peavy is one of the league's top 10 starters or so when healthy, but he often isn't healthy -- 2012 is the only season in which he's topped 120 innings since 2008.

“He's more than just a Clay Buchholz replacement -- he's giving the Red Sox a slightly better arm at the top of their rotation, and helping boost the top three for the playoffs as well.’’

Other reviews:

Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports: “More than one rival executive thought the Sox got off easy in landing Peavy from the White Sox and reliever Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers -- and parting only with Iglesias and three lower-level prospects. Iglesias, 23, is a brilliant, electric defender, but his 231 plate appearances in the majors this season include 24 infield singles and a .787 OPS fueled by a .377 batting average on balls in play. As one rival exec noted, unhappily, ‘The Red Sox parlayed two lucky months from Iglesias into Jake Peavy.’’’

Danny Knobler, CBSsports.com: “Tigers scouts loved Iglesias. They believe he will hit, and also think that with Miguel Cabrera at third base, having an outstanding defender at short is a huge plus. [Tigers GM] Dombrowski had let the Red Sox know repeatedly that he had interest in Iglesias, but no deal seemed possible until the Red Sox and White Sox ran into trouble coming up with a match on Jake Peavy. The White Sox already have Alexei Ramirez, and their scouts didn't value Iglesias nearly as highly as the Tigers' scouts did. But because Dombrowski had stayed on the Iglesias trail, the Tigers were a natural to be brought in as the third team in the deal.’’

Jeff Passan, Yahoo!Sports: “Two years ago, the Boston Red Sox do not make this trade. They do not give up Jose Iglesias and his metallurgical glove, they do not cede an A-ball pitcher named Frank Montas whose fastball pops triple digits on radar guns, they do not bother saying yes to two more prospects named Cleuluis Rondon and J.B. Wendelken. This trade happened because of the second wild card. If there is a compelling argument for watering down the baseball postseason, this is it: Teams really, truly, desperately want to win their division and avoid the one-game playoff between wild-card teams. And so the Red Sox, a half-game back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East, dealt four players, none older than 23, to acquire Jake Peavy, the biggest on-the-market difference-maker who wasn’t going to cost Boston an arm, leg and internal organ to be named later.’’