- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox needed a starting pitcher. The Detroit Tigers were looking for infield help. The Chicago White Sox wanted more prospects for the future.

And that’s why baseball’s biggest trade of the season came together.

The Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the White Sox in a blockbuster three-team deal on Tuesday night that also sent shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers.

The slick-fielding Iglesias provides a nice insurance policy for AL Central-leading Detroit in case Jhonny Peralta is suspended as part of baseball’s Biogenesis drug investigation. Iglesias also can play second and third.


“The frank reality is that I do not know what is going to happen with Jhonny, but with this move, we now feel well protected if there is a long suspension,” Tigers general manager David Dombrowski said.

“We didn’t feel we were well protected in that situation with our internal options. If it were a 15-day thing, like a typical injury, I think we could have comfortably dealt with it with the players we already have, but when you start to talk about 50 days and a possible playoff run, we feel better going ahead with Jose.”

Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 starts this season. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner was considered the best starting pitcher on the market ahead of Wednesday’s non-waiver deadline.

“If there’s one thing we wanted to do _ if we could pull it off _ is to add a starting pitcher as we look at the next two months,” Boston general manager Ben Cherington said.

Peavy tweeted a message to White Sox fans after the deal was done:

“THANK YOU Chicago! It’s been an honor & a privilege to pitch for u! You are 1st class & I will never forget you! So many emotions right now!”

With Clay Buchholz on the disabled list with a shoulder problem, the move gives Boston another proven starter for the stretch run in the tough AL East. It also could strengthen the bullpen if the Red Sox decide to return rookie Brandon Workman to a relief role if Buchholz comes back.

“We thought Peavy, of the starting pitchers available, was the right fit for us,” Cherington said. “It just came together that this was the deal we thought made the most sense.”

The Red Sox also got reliever Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers. They shipped Iglesias to Detroit and three minor leaguers to the White Sox as part of the trade.

Chicago also received prized prospect Avisail Garcia. Garcia, who turned 22 in June, hit .374 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 33 games for Triple-A Toledo.

The outfielder, who was the Tigers‘ minor league player of the year last season, was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.

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