Padres get four from White Sox for Peavy
Richard, Poreda, Carter, Russell dealt for Cy Young winner
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres traded away a Cy Young Award winner Friday, but general manager Kevin Towers is hoping that the haul of four young pitchers the team received in return will pay dividends for a long time to come.
"Maybe there's a Jake Peavy in the bunch." Towers said.
On Friday, the Padres pulled off a Trade Deadline shocker that didn't involve their two All-Stars, Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell, who were the central points of talks Towers had with other teams.
Instead, Towers traded Peavy for four pitchers, all under 26, including the prized arm of the deal, 22-year-old left-hander Aaron Poreda.
"For us, we think it was a good baseball deal," Towers said.
That, of course, remains to be seen, though the Padres were certainly excited to land the four pitchers, Poreda, left-hander Clayton Richard, who will get a start Saturday against Milwaukee, and right-handers Aaron Russell and Dexter Carter.
It was a move White Sox general manger Kenny Williams had been thinking about since May, when Peavy first rebuffed Chicago, using his no-trade clause to veto a deal that he agreed to on Friday.
In order to land Peavy, Williams gave up four pitchers that were part of the White Sox future, pitchers he was excited about.
"To get a No. 1, you have to pay the price," Williams said. "Clayton Richard, we believe, especially going to the National League and in San Diego's ballpark, I told him, 'You are about to be a very successful and rich man. You are going to do well over there.'"
"Aaron Poreda, as well, and Dexter Carter is coming and Russell has improved since you last saw him. So, yes, we paid the price, but I'm not averse to doing that if you get what you want and the opportunity."
Richard, 25, is 4-3 with a 4.65 ERA in 26 games (14 starts) with the White Sox in 2009. He will slide into the starting rotation.
"I'm excited about the opportunity," Richard said. "It's kind of hard leaving here. I came up through here. I'm really appreciate of the opportunities Chicago has given me. I'm nothing but happy with the playoffs last year, just being a part of it, and making the team this year. That was all a lot of fun. I'm ready to move on. It'll be fun."
Poreda, 22, is 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA between two Minor League stops -- Triple-A Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham.
His contract was purchased from Birmingham on June 9, and he went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 10 relief appearances with the White Sox before being optioned to Charlotte on July 21.
Carter, 23, is 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA and in 19 starts with Class A Kannapolis in 2009. He leads all professional pitchers with 143 strikeouts this season. Carter will report to Class A Fort Wayne.
Russell, 26, is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA and five saves in 34 relief appearances this season with Charlotte. He went 4-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 22 relief appearances with the White Sox in 2008. He will pitch in relief for Triple-A Portland.
In the past month, the Padres have made two trades that have landed them seven pitchers, including the July 5 deal that sent outfielder Scott Hairston to the Oakland A's for three pitchers, one in Sean Gallagher, who should contend for a spot in the rotation next spring.
That's a far cry from March, when, with a month left in Spring Training, Towers had to essentially rebuild his bullpen because several in-house candidates failed to make a fair enough impression.
"Our pitching going into next year, if we did nothing else, we should be in a lot better position than we were this year," Towers said.
Next spring, the Padres could head to Peoria, Ariz., with Poreda, Richard, Gallagher, Mat Latos, Tim Stauffer, Kevin Correia, Chad Gaudin and Chris Young as viable options for the starting rotation.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.