Should Jake Peavy be a target for the Atlanta Braves?


In the midst of rumblings surrounding the likes of Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, the Atlanta Braves still have a prominent hole to fill on their roster, regardless of who is deployed in the outfield. At the moment, the team has only four “locks” in the starting rotation, with Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Mike Minor and newcomer Shelby Miller, and as such, Atlanta has been linked (albeit loosely) to a number of veteran pitchers. The latest in that line of arms is right-hander Jake Peavy.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brings word that the Braves are interested in adding Peavy to the mix. This shouldn’t be a surprise for a number of reasons, including the fact that the 33-year-old Peavy has been whispered about in conjunction with Atlanta on a number of occasions previously.

In 2014, Peavy had a solid season, accumulating a 3.73 ERA over 32 starts and 202.2 innings, and his advanced metrics appear reasonable as well, to the point where he was basically a 2-WAR pitcher with quality peripherals. Still, there is some pushback on the part of the baseball community to Peavy as a reliable starter, given his up-and-down nature, and given the abject terror shown by San Francisco in deploying him in the World Series, that isn’t a great shock.

The biggest question, at least in my mind, around a theoretical pursuit of Jake Peavy is the overall direction of the franchise. Is this a team trying to compete for the World Series in 2015? The trade of Jason Heyward (sigh) would indicate otherwise, but in the same breath, it wasn’t a complete abandonment of this season, simply because Shelby Miller is a pitcher fully capable of fitting into a rotation for a contender.

To be honest, we would probably learn a lot more about John Hart‘s immediate plans with a firm decision on either Evan Gattis (who is under team control for a handful of seasons) or Justin Upton (who becomes a free agent after 2015), but for now, Peavy is the one in the crosshairs. Signing Peavy to a reasonably priced, short-term deal would be just fine, and there is a realistic thought that he could be a 2-win pitcher, which is just fine for a 4th/5th option in the rotation.

Do we have any idea what John Hart is doing? The answer appears to be no, at least to this point. The Jake Peavy chatter doesn’t blow me away, and it shouldn’t have that affect on you, either, but handing out another lucrative contract to a veteran (i.e. Nick Markakis) could be another signal that Hart believes (right or wrong) that the team can compete in 2015.