The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox are emerging as two of the most serious suitors for Chicago White Sox' right-hander Jake Peavy, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Now that the 32-year old has returned from injury, the South Siders are expected to push hard to trade him before the July 31st deadline.
Heyman notes that many other teams are expected to be interested in Peavy, who is 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA in twelve starts on the season. The Nationals, Pirates and Rockies are among the teams who could pursue a deal in the next week, and the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Yankees and Orioles were among the teams with scouts in attendance for Peavy's last start. Baltimore is considered an unlikely destination because their lack of financial flexibility, and FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says that the D-Backs are not pursuing Peavy.
Now that Matt Garza has been taken off the trade market, Peavy looks like the top pitcher available on the trade market and will draw significant interest in the next week. If the White Sox do decide to deal him, they will likely receive a package larger than the four prospect haul that the Cubs got for Garza. Unlike Garza, who is a free agent after the season, Peavy is under contract for next season as well, meaning that teams will get a year and a half of his services if they are to acquire him.
As Heyman says, the Cardinals' interest in Peavy is surprising due to their deep starting rotation, but makes sense after the team's failed pursuit of Garza. Boston's interest is likely dependent on the health of Clay Buchholz, who is now likely to stay on the shelf until late August or early September. With their division lead slipping away, the Sox are almost guaranteed to add pitching before the deadline. They are known to be in on both starters and relievers, and a move is considered extremely likely.