Andrew Baggarly writes that the Giants are "intensifying their search for a starting pitcher". This means it's time to write about him writing about the Giants intensifying their search. Specifically, the pitcher mentioned in the article, Jake Peavy.
Jake Peavy won a Cy Young. He's also kind of janky now, with an adjusted ERA under the league average for four out of the last five years. His strikeouts are falling. His walks are increasing. The odds are excellent that he just allowed a home run to Emmanuel Burriss. The Red Sox should take him to a farm where he can run around and play with other Cy Young candidates who are kind of janky now, and, say, that would be here, wouldn't it?
But there are reasons the Giants would want him. Peavy is ...
- better than Mike Kickham or Edwin Escobar
- probably better than Yusmeiro Petit?
- not under contract next year
- likely to come over with a portion of his contract paid
- unlikely to cost a substantial prospect haul
- a favorite of Bruce Bochy's
Want David Price? So long Brandon Belt and Kyle Crick. Want Cliff Lee? His contract means that's your upgrade for the next two offseasons, so hopefully he's not as dreadful as he was on Monday night, and your farm system is gone. Want Jon Lester? That's Kyle Crick, Andrew Susac, Clayton Blackburn, and Adalberto Mejia for 10 starts and, oops, you were outbid.
Peavy is attainable, mostly because he's been fairly unimpressive all season and because he's going to be a free agent (his vesting option isn't going to vest). He threw harder in his last start, but he's down in the Petit range now, which means he's a control artist who can't make any mistakes, but often does. Just like Petit.
Here's a sentence that applies to every starting pitcher, from Colon to up to, say, Ian Kennedy: Only if Matt Cain isn't likely to be back soon. When you get to David Price and Cole Hamels, you make room. The Giants aren't getting either, though, so that sentence applies to every single pitcher the Giants could possibly be interested in. Only if Matt Cain isn't likely to be back soon.
Yesterday, we determined that Colon was an okay fit, but only if the Mets ate all sorts of money. Then two people below the Mets would eat even more money, and they would have four people under them eating money, and so on. That's unlikely to happen, though, so the Giants will move on. Peavy, though, would come relatively cheaply. Look at the other contenders and imagine how many of them would get in a bidding war for a serviceable arm like that. Maybe the Cardinals. Maybe the Braves. Not that many, though, and there are plenty of Peavy-like starters on the market.
There aren't a lot of arguments for Peavy, other than "I've heard of him" and "he's probably better than Petit." The one you'll hear often is that he'll be better off in the NL, especially in a spacious ballpark. This is true, but it doesn't really change how talented he is. The Giants getting flyball pitchers to live in AT&T Park is a viable strategy, but getting good pitchers is an even better one. I'm just not sure how good Peavy is anymore.
Unless the prospect cost is high, I wouldn't be against Peavy. I like Petit in his role as a spot starter/long man, and Peavy would likely upgrade the roster. He certainly isn't exciting, though. He really, really isn't exciting. Trade rumors are supposed to be exciting.
Get out of here, Chad Qualls. We're rumor-mongering, here. You, too, Peavy. Unless the Red Sox will just lend you to us.