According to a report, the Milwaukee Brewers—along with several other contending clubs—had scouts at Rogers Centre in Toronto Tuesday night to watch Boston Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy.
Giants watched Peavy in Toronto tonight. WS, KC, Fla. SD, MIL PITT also in the house watching other stuff.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 23, 2014
Peavy, 33, is long removed from his Cy Young Award winning days with the San Diego Padres in 2007, but pitched well down the stretch last season for the Red Sox, helping them get into the postseason and win their third World Series title in the last decade.
Peavy is signed through this year at $14.5 million and has a $15 million player option that vests if he reached 400 innings pitched in 2013-14 and 190 innings this season and if he is not on the disabled list at the end of the season.
With 144.2 innings in 2013 and 124 this season, the odds of Peavy’s option vesting are slim, so we’re looking at a player who will most likely become a free agent this fall.
Peavy didn’t have a great line at Toronto, losing his ninth straight decision after allowing five runs on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
He’s 1-9 this season with a 4.72 ERA and 1.427 WHIP—the highest of his career—and after giving up home runs to Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro Tuesday night, Peavy had now surrendered an American League-high 20 home runs this season.
And Peavy’s Fielding Independent Pitching—figured similarly to an ERA, but factoring in the things a pitcher can control (home runs, walks, strikeouts and hit batsmen)—is even higher than his ERA at 4.81.
Peavy has a higher FIP than anyone currently in the Brewers’ rotation (Marco Estrada, demoted to the bullpen before the All-Star break, has a FIP of 5.59).
Here’s how the current rotation stacks up in terms of ERA, FIP, ERA-plus (ballpark-adjusted, 100 is average and unlike ERA, bigger numbers are better) and home runs allowed:
Peavy’s ERA-plus is only 83 in his 20 starts this season.
My take on this? If Jake Peavy is the best the Brewers can do in terms of rotation help—because Milwaukee might not have the prospects to swing a deal for the prize of the market, Tampa Bay Rays lefty David Price—they’d be better off standing pat and moving forward with what they have.
At this point, Peavy’s not an upgrade in anything beyond name recognition.