Was the Jake Peavy hype all smoke and mirrors?

Posted by Scott Wuerz on July 9, 2014 

I have to admit that I really didn't get it yesterday when rumors were flying around hot and heavy that the St. Louis Cardinals were on the verge on making a trade for Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy.

Especially when Boston pundits started tossing around names like Oscar Taveras, Allen Craig and othe significant Redbirds in exchange for a pitcher who was pretty darn good --several years ago.

Now, after the smoke has cleared a little bit with nothing happening, I am beginning to wonder if the Red Sox didn't take a page from the Scott Boras playbook and try to manufacture some excitement in hopes of getting a team to overpay for mediocre (at best) talent.

First it was leaked that a deal between the Cardinals and Sox was imminent. Then, all of the sudden the Milwaukee Brewers were making a play and after that Atlanta Braves were all excited about Peavy.

And then nothing happened. Well, other than St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak and his counterparts coming forward to say they are NOT interested in Peavy. And why would they be?

Unless the Cardinals know something about the health of their current crop of pitchers that the rest of us haven't been made aware of, Joe Kelly is coming back from his hamstring injury on Friday. And, if he's healthy, I have every reason to believe that Kelly is at least as good of a pitcher at this stage of their careers as Peavy. Carlos Martinez continues to settle in. But he has pitched reasonably well filling in for Michael Wacha. He's dominant at times and needs to develop consistency. But he's pitching deeper into games and giving his team a chance to win. Meanwhile, there is optimism that Wacha will return from his scapula injury in the next month or so and Tyler Lyons just returned from his health issues.

All that adds up to making St. Louis fans wonder why the Cardinals might over-pay for an over the hill pitcher.

The Red Sox ought to be content with a low level prospect or a journeyman player and the receiving team taking Peavy's contract off their hands if they want to shed him. He's 1-7 with an ERA in the 4.50 range and basically would be a 4th or 5th starter on the team that acquires him. If the Red Sox want to make that sort of deal, the Cardinals ought to listen for depth and insurance. But he's not going to make the team considerably better. And he's not the sort of guy I imagine manager Mike Matheny sending to the mound in the second game of a playoff series.

Basically, I think we all got suckered in by a team planting a story in the media to benefit themselves.

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