The Red Sox announced they’ve acquired Brad Peacock from the Indians for cash considerations. Peacock is eligible to be traded even after the July 30 deadline because he hasn’t been on a 40-man roster this season and had joined Cleveland on a minor league deal.
Peacock landed with Cleveland a little more than two months ago. He has since made eleven appearances (ten starts) with their top affiliate in Columbus, where he’s worked to a 7.68 ERA over 34 innings. That’s obviously an unsightly run prevention number, but Peacock’s peripherals are quite a bit better. The 33-year-old has essentially league average marks in strikeout rate (23.8%) and walk percentage (8.8%). His 34.3% ground-ball rate is rather low — contributing to some home run troubles — but he’s also been plagued by an abnormally high .340 opponents’ batting average on balls in play and should strand runners at a better clip than his current 56.5% mark moving forward.
While Peacock hasn’t made it onto a big league roster yet this season, he has plenty of experience under his belt at the highest level. The right-hander broke into the majors with the Nationals in 2011 and saw action with the Astros every season from 2013-20. Peacock was generally productive in a swing role in Houston, where his tenure partially overlapped with Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s stint as the Astros’ bench coach. Between 2017-19, Peacock worked to a 3.46 ERA/3.59 FIP across 288 2/3 frames split between the rotation and the bullpen. He only made three relief appearances in 2020 before suffering a shoulder injury that ultimately required arthroscopic surgery — keeping him out of action until he landed with the Indians in late June.
Because Peacock wasn’t on Cleveland’s 40-man roster, he’ll head to Triple-A Worcester and won’t require an immediate roster spot with the Red Sox. He can remain on hand as high minors depth for either the rotation or long relief over the season’s final few weeks. Players acquired prior to September 1 are eligible for a team’s postseason roster, so Peacock could be a playoff option for Boston if he earns a big league promotion and if the team qualifies. The Red Sox enter play tonight holding a two and a half game advantage over the A’s for the American League’s final playoff spot.
Adding a pitcher capable of working multiple innings of relief took on some added importance for the Red Sox this afternoon. Martín Pérez has tested positive for COVID-19, the team informed reporters (including Rob Bradford of WEEI). That’ll keep the veteran southpaw out of action for at least the next week-plus. Pérez has allowed nine runs (five earned) in seven innings since being moved to the bullpen earlier this month.