The rumors surrounding Jake Peavy's inevitable trade may have come to an end, but the resulting three-team deal that sent Peavy to the Red Sox, shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers, and prospect Avisail Garcia from the Tigers to the White Sox along with other prospects from the Red Sox, brings us even more to discuss.
For starters, the Red Sox were able to acquire a significant upgrade to their starting rotation without giving up any of their top prospects - Jackie Bradley, Xander Bogaerts, or Anthony Ranaudo. That's a major coop on their part. Instead, the Red Sox main loss was Iglesias, a defensive wizard with a questionable bat who, because of a few ridiculously hot months of over-performing at the major league level, will never have more value than he does right now.
Which is not to suggest that the Tigers are being duped here. GM Dave Dombrowski and company know exactly what they are getting in Iglesias - one of the best defensive shortstops in the game whose bat may be too much of a black hole for even his glove to overcome. What they needed, however, was a legitimate major league shortstop in case their current all-star shortstop Jhonny Peralta is suspended later this week because of the Biogenesis scandal, and there weren't exactly a lot of major league shortstops available on the trade market this summer. Iglesias was likely the best they could do, and he even comes with some significant upside.
What they gave up, however, was one of the few potential impact prospects they had remaining in their farm system in outfielder Avisail Garcia. Garcia has had brief stints in the majors both last year and this year and has struggled both times, but scouts love his power potential and upside. The issue with Garcia, however, is his plate discipline. Despite plus hitting ability and plus power potential, Garcia has never posted a walk rate above four percent at any minor league stop while routinely striking out close to 20 percent of the time. It's numbers like that, coupled with stats like this...
Avisail Garcia has Triple-A's ninth-highest swing rate, 18th-lowest contact rate (sample = 365 players)— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) July 31, 2013
...that give people, myself included, a reason to be concerned about Garcia's long-term potential.
Scouts love his potential power he has, but it has yet to show up in games consistently and he's never posted an ISO above .150 in the minors either. If his power doesn't develop, however, there is concern about where he will provide value.
If Avisail Garcia doesn't cash in on this 'big-time emerging power,' he's not a regular, IMO. Have to defer if scouts agree it's coming tho.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) July 31, 2013
Some scouts like his defense at the moment...
Avisail Garcia weighs 240 pounds, but he's a 55 runner with a strong arm. Been used a lot in CF, some scouts think he's playable there.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 31, 2013
...but it's hard to envision him as anything but a corner outfielder not so far down the road.
There is some risk involved with Garcia, but also high upside. Still, there were a number of prospects in the Red Sox organization that I would rather have had over Garcia, including all three listed above. The White Sox did, however, get other prospects from the Red Sox.
A middle infield prospect who is still quite far away from the majors, Rondon profiles as a defense-first player.
Liked what I've seen out of Cleuluis Rondon in ST and Lowell. Some tools, but a long way away. Natural SS, but has been playing mostly 2B.— Ian Cundall (@IanCundall) July 31, 2013
A hard-throwing right-hander with spotty control and off-speed pitches that need work.
Red Sox RHP Francellis Montas has been told he's going to the White Sox. Results have been erratic but he's touched 100 mph.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 31, 2013
Frank Montas has high-90s FB that can get straight. Control not great, slider not really there either. Fits prototype Sox trade chip.— Chris Hatfield (@SPChrisHatfield) July 31, 2013
A generic right-handed pitcher with some pitchability who could be useful but mainly provides organizational depth to an organization in desperate need of exactly that.
Saw J.B. Wendelken in instructs last year. Filled out righty, decent mechanics. Low-90s FB, mid-70s 11-5 CB and CH. Middle relief profile.— Ian Cundall (@IanCundall) July 31, 2013
In the end, this trade is about three players - Peavy, Iglesias, and Garcia.
The Red Sox did great to acquire Garcia without giving up any of their top prospects. Iglesias is a decent loss for them, but they have plenty of organizational depth at shortstop and believe Bogaerts would soon supplant Iglesias anyway.
The White Sox had to chose the main prospect they wanted in return for Peavy and chose Garcia. They've never been an organization to worry about plate discipline, so it's not shocking that they were willing to take a chance on Garcia's potential. If he works out, he could be a true impact bat in their lineup. Of course, there were some less-risky options from the Red Sox organization they could have chosen, but we don't know how available they really were in the trade talks. Garcia scares me as a prospect because of the probability that his lack of plate discipline prevents him from ever panning out, but his potential is enough to head up this package and leave the White Sox feeling good about themselves.
The Tigers appear to have received the short end of this deal, as there are few that believe Iglesias will ever hit enough to justify regular playing time, but they were also in the toughest spot. They are almost certainly going to lose their starting shortstop sometime next week, and thanks to baseball's lack of transparency about the Biogenesis scandal, it's impossible to know when or for how long. Anticipating that, the Tigers did what they had to to find a suitable replacement, something that was virtually impossible in a weak trade market. The Tigers did about as good as they could have hoped to do in finding a viable shortstop option at this point in the season. Luckily, their offense is strong enough that they can afford to play Iglesias just for his glove.
Three-team trades are difficult to gauge, especially ones that involve players as young as the White Sox received, but this one seems to make sense for all of the teams involved, either for the short-term or the long-term.