Alex Anthopoulos approaches Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline knowing that he has already lost one of the options that would have allowed him to address his teams most pressing need not just for this already-lost season but for 2014.
Moving boldly, the Boston Red Sox acquired pitcher Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night, in a three-way deal that saw the Detroit Tigers prepare for a possible suspension of Jhonny Peralta as part of baseball's Biogenesis scandal by acquiring one of the games best young shortstops, Jose Iglesias.
Anthopoulos tried to sign Peavy as a free agent this winter, but the White Sox upped their bid at the last moment and Peavy remained in Chicago. He is due $14.5-million next season with a vesting option for $15-million in 2015. Anthopoulos - who also courted Anibal Sanchez - took the money that ownership gave him for Peavy and turned it into a multi-player transaction with the Miami Marlins.
The Blue Jays have little certainty in their starting rotation next season - beyond a ton of money due to Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey, neither of whom are front of the rotation starters at this stage of their career. With one of the weakest free-agent pitching classes in recent memory - if all expected options are picked up, Ervin Santana could be the best available free agent - Anthopoulos will be forced to trade to address the matter. It will take one of his core players to land a significant starting pitcher, along with one of the few remaining top organizational prospects.
Buehrle shut down the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night and in the process might have given some food for thought to the runners-up in the Peavy sweepstakes. Buehrle represents a dependable seven innings and is still capable of shackling a good offence, and has attracted interest from several National League teams. But with $18-million and $19-million left on his contract for the next two years, the Blue Jays might need to pick up a sizable portion of his salary to bring back anything of value.
The three-way deal between the Red Sox, White Sox and Tigers was perhaps the first indication of a team being proactive in girding itself for expected suspensions from the commissioner's office. The Texas Rangers, built to win a World Series now, were focussing on an impact bat in the outfield even before reports surfaced that Nelson Cruz is one of the players likely to be suspended by the commissioners office. The Rangers signed Manny Ramirez as a minor league free-agent to provide some cover but they'd be foolish not to upgrade. They have enquired about Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, but are also interested in the White Sox's Alex Rios.
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