"You don't like it?" "No I don't like it..."

So I’ve now slept on the Peavy trade.  

And I still don’t like it.

I don’t hate it and maybe I’m overvaluing Peavy.  But the Cubs just traded essentially the same pitcher, arguably a tad better, for a nice collection of bats and arms. The White Sox didn’t get anything close* to the return the Cubs got for Garza, despite the fact that Garza’s a free agent in two months.

*I usually use a mix of Keith Law and Fangraphs rankings for prospects. Neither one had Garcia in the top 100 in baseball (Law had him #2 in the Tigers depleted system and Fangraphs had him #4). However, Baseball America had Garcia as their 74th rated prospect heading into this year.

Okay, let’s say I am overvaluing Peavy because of his injury history. Then why in the world a the White Sox going after a guy who looks too much like Viciedo—only without as much power (so far) and better speed. Yes, as the Fifth Feather already reported, Avisail Garcia is not Miggy Jr. Why?Miggy at age 22 was in his third major league season, and racking up 5.5 WAR and 146 wRC+ in the major leagues; Garcia at age 22 is bouncing between AAA and the majors racking up a -0.3 WAR and a 72 wRC+. This really says it all: “This year, Garcia owns the highest BABIP at the Triple-A level. He also owns one of the highest swing rates, and one of the lowest contact rates.”

I get it, the tools are there. If he learns to walk, he’s going to hit for more power and all of a sudden he may be a borderline All-Star. I get that’s the thinking. But there’s not much in the Sox track record that anyone can point to where the Sox turn these toolsy/free-swingers guys into average major leaguers let alone All-Stars (Vicideo, Mitchell, Walker, etc).  The last thing the Sox needs is another toolsy/free-swinging outfielder, they’ve got, now by my count, seven of them: Vicideo, Mitchell*, Walker, Thompson, Hawkins, Jacobs and now Garcia.

*I know, he’s no longer a prospect, but he needs to be included because the Sox are way too in love with these type of players.

The Sox have a system that is widely regarded as one of the worst in the game.  They need help pretty much everywhere. Hawkins is the only guy with All-Star potential but he’s 19 and has a ways to go (I’m excluding everyone drafted last month). Sanchez, yes young for AAA, hasn’t hit at all there this year. Thompson’s cut the strikeouts a bit, but hasn’t hit for as much power in AA. Walker probably isn’t going to make it. Those four guys were considered the top four positions players in the Sox system heading into the year.  Sure Garcia now slots in behind Hawkins, but the Sox already have a bunch of Garcia’s and the results haven’t been all that great.  Basically the last thing the Sox needed was another toolsy outfielder. But that’s what they got. I don’t get it.

As for the other three guys the Sox picked up... no one seems too crazy about Wendelken or Rondon.  Montas has a great arm but can’t find the plate.  Needless to say, I fully expect the Sox will turn him into a decent pitcher because that’s what the Sox do. For all the crap I just gave them about their inability to develop positions players; they are pretty damn good at turning pitchers into solid/good/great major leaguers (Santiago/Quintana/Sale).  But Montas seems to be destined for the bullpen... so lets fire up the 2016 rumor mill where Reed is traded and Montas moves into the closer role.

I was probably too high on Peavy and what he could bring back for the Sox. Obviously Garcia’s got talent and I fully expect him to get a good run in September.  But I would have liked to see the Sox get someone who has three tools which will grade out instead of another guy with a crazy high ceiling and extremely low floor who plays the outfield.

Other thoughts:
--Others disagree, but I don’t think the Sox had to trade Peavy.  They didn’t need the savings. And if the deal wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. They could easily have held onto him and traded him in the winter or gone into ‘14 with Sale/Peavy as your one—two and see how things play out.

--The major positive? It is starting to look like Viciedo won’t be the starting left fielder for the White Sox next year. What happens with Rios today will obviously affect the ‘14 line up, but if Rios stays, your outfield next year is probably Garcia-De Aza-Rios. And of course even if they deal Rios, they can sign a right fielder or roll the dice with Thompson.  However, the Sox will probably need a first base/DH next year once Konerko mercifully retires and I guess Viciedo could provide cover there.  I’m not crazy about that, but whatever. It’d be one year.

--I love this trade for the Tigers.  They’re trying to win a World Series in the next two, maybe three, years. And this deal makes them better this year and moving forward. Iglesias provides two things: 1) he can field 2) he provides cover if/when Peralta is suspended by MLB.  I think the Tigers BABIP problems are directly related to the fact that they have two of the worst defensive infielders in baseball and a shortstop whose glove is okay at best.  Now they’ve got really strong D at both second and short, and for their sake, will hopefully turn seeing eye singles into outs.  Iglesias is young too.  Two years ago Keith Law was calling him the best defensive shortstop he’s ever seen in the minors and I don’t think that’s changed much:

Sure he can’t hit, but the Tigers have Miggy, Prince, Austin Jackson and everyone else to do that. I think they’re the favorites in the AL and probably the Majors with this trade (assuming Peralta sits for Iglesias).  Oh, and they only gave up a free swinging, BABIP inflated, not even top 100 prospect for him.

--I really like the deal for the Red Sox as they didn’t give up much for a really good starter when healthy.  If Peavy’s healthy for the next year and change, the Red Sox are going to get the best player in the deal.  He makes the rotation better. And his contract is completely reasonable.  It may appear they’re giving up on Iglesias early, but really they probably sold high and they’ve got one of the top five prospects in the game to eventually play short.  Iglesias was going to get moved this winter anyway.  It doesn’t appear any of the guys in the minors they sent to the Sox will hurt them in the long run.  

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