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Ben Cherington talks Jake Peavy trade, Jose Iglesias, possible infield additions

07.31.13 at 3:40 am ET
By
Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Shortly after the Red Sox announced their trade for starting pitcher Jake Peavy – a seven-player, three-team swap that sent infielder Jose Iglesias to Detroit – Sox general manager Ben Cherington held a conference call with the media.

Some of the highlights from the 18-minute interview were:

– The Red Sox were having difficulty matching up directly with Chicago in targeting Peavy, leading them to include Detroit. The Tigers potentially needed a shortstop with the threat of Jhonny Peralta’s suspension (Biogenesis case) looming, and the Sox felt they had a surplus at the position, making Iglesias available.

“We certainly didn’t go into this July looking or expecting to trade Jose, but we felt given the strength of that position in the organization, with Stephen Drew obviously our everyday shortstop right now, and the guys we have coming behind him in the minor leagues, it was a relative area of strength to deal from,” Cherington said. “And if we could get the starting pitcher we really wanted, ultimately we thought it made sense to do the deal.”

– Peavy won’t be getting the start Wednesday night.

Clay Buchholz’ physical status did play into securing another starter, although the Red Sox are confident that the righty will be rejoining the rotation.

“Since the last time we talked, he continued to progress,” Cherington said. “As we said before, the situation with Clay, we’ve been aware of for a while. It’s been a factor to some degree with other teams. We still expect Clay to come back and be involved in our rotation. The most important thing we could do was protect the team and give them every chance to be strong over the last couple of months and bolster the rotation.”

– The Red Sox are satisfied with Peavy’s health.

“We’re comfortable with where he is physically,” Cherington said. “We obviously went through the medical review. All three teams had a chance to look at the files for all the players involved. We’re comfortable where Jake is. The rib issue he had this year was kind of a freak thing. He’s recovered from that. We’re not concerned about that. He’s had no issues with his arm since he’s had the surgery. We’re comfortable where he is and still feel pretty good about him for this year and for next. So that was not an issue in our mind.”

– The Red Sox may not be trading for any infield help.

“Nothing planned. Nothing imminent,” Cherington said. “I think as we said before we really feel like there are enough infielders here in the organization between Boston and Pawtucket that we can get good production from the left side of our infield. We’ll never rule anything out, but there’s certainly nothing imminent and I wouldn’t expect anything to happen by [Wednesday].”

Brandon Workman most likely will take up a role in the bullpen.

“I think that’s probably the most likely scenario,” Cherington said. “Obviously Brandon has done a great job since he came up and it’s great no matter what role he’s in we know he can pitch very effectively as a starter. Obviously we trust him if he’s needed in the pen. We’ll see what happens there, but he’s done a great job for us so far.”

– The deal primarily came together Tuesday.

“We had talked to the Tigers a little bit. We talked to every team over the course of the days leading up to the deadline,” Cherington said. “So we talked to the Tigers a little before [Tuesday], but it really became more of a three-team picture today.”

– It didn’t hurt that Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves worked with Peavy when both were with the White Sox.

“Another source of comfort, but obviously Jake has been a really good starter in the big leagues for a long time. He’s more than proven,” Cherington said. “The scout that originally signed him, Mark Wassinger, works for us. There’s a connection going back a long, long way. But we certainly had a number of people, including Juan, that know him and feel very good he’ll fit in the clubhouse well and mesh well with the team. And he’s excited to be heading here.”

– The Red Sox are high on the other pitcher they got in the deal, Brayan Villarreal.

“He had a pretty good year in the big leagues last year with Detroit,” Cherington said. “He never really got on track this year. He’s been in Triple-A with them. He’s currently sidelined with a thumb sprain, which he’s recovered. He’s been throwing off a mound and is close to being ready to pitch in a game. He’ll report to Pawtucket and we’ll see where he is and get him into games down there first. He’s a guy we control moving forward, a power arm with some history of success in the big leagues. We have to get to know him and get him on track here. He’s certainly a guy we think can help us in the major league bullpen.”

Read More: Brayan Villarreal, jake peavy, jose iglesias,
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