(MCT) July 31— The Red Sox not only got a dependable and top-flight starter tonight but they cleared a path for their best player prospect in years.
Jake Peavy of the White Sox will join the Red Sox rotation as part of a three-way deal in which the Red Sox shipped out defensive whiz shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Tigers, who shipped outfield prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox.
The Red Sox also will receive 26-year-old right-handed reliever Brayan Villareal from the Tigers.
The Red Sox sent minor leaguers J.B. Wendelken, Francellis Montas and Cleuluis Rondon to the White Sox. None of the three are on the Red Sox' 40-man roster.
The departure of Iglesias leaves open the possibility that the Red Sox will call-up shortstop Xander Bogaerts, just 20 years old, to play third base and make his major-league debut as soon as this week, or else Will Middlebrooks will return to the ballclub for now.
Another option is that the club could still be talking with the Phillies about a deal before Thursday's 4 p.m. trading deadline that would bring in veteran third baseman Michael Young. Talks between the Phillies and Rangers reportedly hit a wall yesterday and Young, according to reports, said he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to come to the Red Sox.
The trade for Peavy would preclude the Red Sox from making a deal with Philadelphia's Cliff Lee, who would have commanded a much higher price in prospects.
In Peavy, the Red Sox get an immediate and needed boost to their rotation, which has suffered from health concerns with Clay Buchholz and inconsistency from Jon Lester. John Lackey has been superb, Felix Doubront also strong and rookie Brandon Workman delivered another impressive effort in a win over the Mariners.
Peavy is an instant, proven upgrade, however.
Known for a bulldog attitude, the 32-year-old appears to have overcome health issues from a couple of years ago and has been a productive and efficient pitcher.
This season in 13 starts, he has a 4.28 ERA with a 4.47 strikeout-to-walks ratio. In 80 innings, he has 76 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. Peavy, the 2007 Cy Young winner with the Padres and a three-time All-Star, has a career ERA of 3.49.
The Red Sox can control Peavy for up to two more seasons after this one.
They would pay the remainder of his $14.5 million 2013 salary, and be on the hook for his $14.5 million salary next year. They also would hold a $15 million option for 2015.
Peavy will be reunited with his former Chicago coach, Juan Nieves, now the Red Sox' pitching coach.
Iglesias, 23 years old, was having by far his best season in his first extended stint in the big leagues. He began the season as Stephen Drew's replacement (concussion) then came back up as a third baseman.
Always gifted defensively, Iglesias started off very hot at the plate but lately had returned to earth. He is still hitting .330 on the season but just .200 this month.