Forget Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon. Here's a blast from the past that's worth getting excited about.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Twitter Saturday that the Red Sox "are doing background work on Jake Peavy, who pitches against [Atlanta] today." This came on the heels of a Nick Cafardo blurb earlier in the week that the Sox were interested in Peavy. Olney also reported that the team will have a scout in attendance for Peavy's start against the Braves.
If healthy -- and, granted, that's a huge if -- Peavy would be a huge addition to the Red Sox' starting rotation. The 32-year-old right-hander has a lifetime 3.49 ERA and was the 2007 N.L. Cy Young Award winner when he went 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA with the Padres. The problem, of course, is that he's been hurt almost as much as he's been healthy since his 2009 trade to the White Sox and is just now coming off a broken rib that's kept him sidelined since June 4.
The other problem is his contract. He's due the remainder of his $14.5 million salary for this season, and is due to make $14.5 million again next year. (He also has a $15 million player option for 2015, but it's predicated on stay-on-the-active-roster requirements that this year's DL stint may prevent him from reaching.) The Red Sox may get Peavy cheaply, in terms of a talent exchange, if they pick up the contract, or may have to give Chicago more in return if the White Sox pick up part of the tab.
All that aside, Peavy would be a huge upgrade over the Alfredo Aceves/Brandon Workman/Allen Webster revolving-door spot in the rotation. The Sox would seem to have bigger bullpen needs to fill, but a strong starting staff is one way to strengthen a bullpen. Peavy would certainly make the rotation stronger.