The Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy last July 30 to boost their rotation for the pennant race. Now, about a year later, they’re willing to provide the same help to another club.
The Sox are discussing Peavy and several of their other starters with a group of teams that include the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
“I love this place. If it happens I’m certainly prepared for that. I’m not blind to the fact,” Peavy said Tuesday night after the Chicago White Sox beat the Red Sox, 8-3.
General manager Ben Cherington met with Peavy before the game, a sign that a trade could happen at any time.
“Just getting a pulse on things,” Peavy said. “When you get to this point, it’s a mutual respect thing. This is where I stand and this is where we stand. It’s nice not to be blindsided by anything and kind of have some feel.”
No deal was imminent as of Tuesday night, according to major league sources. But the Cardinals inquired about Peavy last season before he was traded from the White Sox to the Red Sox as part of a three-team deal with the Detroit Tigers.
Peavy helped the Red Sox advance to the World Series, where they beat the Cardinals in six games.
Peavy is 1-7 with a 4.64 earned run average but has pitched well in his last two starts, allowing three earned runs over 12 innings. The 33-year-old would be an attractive pickup for a contending team to boost the bottom of its rotation.
Peavy is in the final year of his contract and has approximately $6.4 million remaining on his deal.
Felix Doubront, who made 13 starts before being sent to the bullpen, is another trade candidate. The 26-year-old has a 5.17 ERA and might benefit from a change of scenery.
The Cardinals have a surplus of outfielders and a need for pitching with Jaime Garcia out for the season and Michael Wacha on the disabled list. St. Louis is in second place in the National League Central.
In Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Randal Grichuk, and Shane Robinson, the Cardinals have a selection of outfielders they could be willing to part with.
Craig has at least $28 million remaining on his contract through 2017. But he offers the kind of righthanded power the Red Sox badly need, particularly in the outfield.
Through Monday, Craig was hitting .246 with a .659 OPS, numbers well below the first four seasons of his career. Craig had 22 home runs and 92 RBIs over 119 games for the Cardinals in 2012.
Obtaining Craig surely would require more than Peavy.
Cherington was on NESN before the game and acknowledged the possibility of a trade.
“If we can’t close that gap, we have to be honest with ourselves. At some point, we may need to be realistic and focus on helping the 2015 team,” he said. “We are not at that point yet.
“We will never be a true seller looking for the future. For us, it would be about reloading for the very next year.”
Peavy, who purchased the duck boat he rode in during the World Series parade last fall, spoke passionately about his love of the Red Sox and the brotherhood he feels with the players who won the World Series.
“As a player what we did last year was all I ever dreamed of doing,” Peavy said. “When you do that, this place is held in the highest regard it can ever be held. So that being said, I would always want to do what’s best for the Boston Red Sox and that could very possibly be being moved to save money for the Boston Red Sox or create some roster space for somebody to come up and take my spot. That’s the reality of the situation.”
Peavy said he would “cry like a baby” if he does get traded.
“If that day does come, it’s going to be tough for me to look some guys in the eye and not know that I’m [not] going to be on their team,” he said.
Setback for Victorino
Right fielder Shane Victorino was scheduled to start his latest minor league rehabilitation assignment with Single A Lowell Wednesday. But that has been pushed back for least a day because of lingering issues with his lower back.
“Increased symptoms. He’s responded well to treatment,” manager John Farrell said.
Victorino has been on the disabled list since May 24 with a right hamstring strain but since has been slowed by the back injury and experienced several setbacks. He has played only 21 games this season.
The Red Sox want Victorino to play minor league games on consecutive days before he is activated. So if he does return this season, it would not be until after the All-Star break.
De La Rosa returns
The Red Sox called up righthander Rubby De La Rosa to start Wednesday night. He is 2-2 with a 2.51 ERA over five starts.
De La Rosa was optioned on June 28 after the Red Sox were unsuccessful in attempts to find a spot for him in the rotation.
Brandon Workman, who took the loss Tuesday night, was optioned to Pawtucket.
Padres see Hazen
Assistant general manager Mike Hazen interviewed with the San Diego Padres Tuesday. He is one of a large group of candidates the Padres are considering for their next GM. Cardinals assistant GM Michael Girsch already withdrew his candidacy Tuesday.
Hazen has been Cherington’s top assistant since 2011 and has been with the Red Sox since 2006.
The Abington native has experience in scouting and player development. Hazen was one of the team executives most influential in the return of Farrell to the organization as manager in 2012.
San Diego CEO Paul Dee is the former chief operating officer with the Red Sox. He did not work directly with Hazen but the two are acquainted and Hazen has been highly recommended by others in the Red Sox organization.
Red Sox ties also could work against Hazen. San Diego’s last two GMs, Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes, were former Red Sox assistants. Hoyer quit the Padres to rejoin Theo Epstein in the front office of the Chicago Cubs. Byrnes was fired June 22.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has hit safely in five consecutive games and is 14 of his last 46 (.304) over a 14-game span. But he was out of the lineup, replaced by fellow rookie Mookie Betts against White Sox lefthander John Danks. Betts was 0 for 4 and is 4 for 23 since being called up. Farrell said Bradley would be in the lineup Wednesday night and “probably run out the rest of the first half.” . . . Farrell said Brock Holt would start at shortstop Wednesday. The versatile rookie has not played shortstop in the major leagues before but does have 283 games of minor league experience at the position . . . Will Middlebrooks was the designated hitter for Triple A Pawtucket at Columbus and went 1 for 4. It was his sixth game since restarting his rehab assignment. Middlebrooks has been on the disabled list since May 17 with a fractured right index finger.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.