SAN FRANCISCO — Giants general manager Brian Sabean has wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and second base. On Saturday morning, he got halfway there.
The Giants acquired veteran right-hander Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox, sending left-handed prospect Edwin Escobar and right-handed reliever Heath Hembree to Boston.
Peavy is just 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA for the Red Sox this season, but he has a proven record of success in the National League and is an instant upgrade over Yusmeiro Petit, who is starting in place of Matt Cain. The Giants are not sure when Cain (elbow inflammation) will begin throwing again, and Peavy provides insurance in case Cain’s injury lingers.
Peavy will start Sunday night against the Dodgers. He is 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 25 career starts against Los Angeles, the majority of them coming when he was an All-Star for the San Diego Padres. Peavy came up with the Padres and pitched for manager Bruce Bochy for six seasons, and the two remain fond of each other.
The move is an aggressive one by the Giants. Escobar, 22, was in big league camp this spring and was viewed as the most MLB-ready prospect in their minor league system. The Giants hoped to have him ready sometime this summer, but Escobar has a 5.11 ERA in his first season in Triple-A. Still, he’s a big arm and one of their best prospects. Hembree, 24, has 18 saves for the Grizzlies and at one point was viewed as the organization’s closer of the future. But he has struggled to find a consistent secondary pitch and has been passed over by other relievers the past two seasons.
According to ESPN, the Giants and Red Sox will split the remaining $5 million left on Peavy’s contract.