Let's go team by team:
Traded RHP Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox for RHP Francellis Montas (A-), SS Cleuluis Rondon (SSA) and RHP Jeffrey Wendelken (A-)
Received OF Avisail Garcia from Detroit Tigers
Although the White Sox made some last-minute posturing about Peavy, trading the brittle and expensive but effective starting pitcher was the right move to make. Chicago needs to re-tool their farm system, and they have enough pitching depth to survive losing Peavy. In the deal Boston assumed most of the money owed Peavy the remainder of this year and next year, so that gives the White Sox some more money to play with this winter.
The best player from this is Garcia. He's briefly been in the majors with the Tigers (and has faced the Indians), often referred to as MIguel Cabrera's mini-me. He's rated as Detroit's #2 prospect in the organization (keeping in mind that Detroit's is one of the thinnest in baseball), a 22-year-old outfielder who possibly can stick in center field and with good hitting tools. For now he's going to stay in Charlotte while the White Sox evaluate him, but by the time the Indians see the White Sox again, there's a good possibility that he's with the big league club. He doesn't walk much, but should hit for power, a nice combination from a center fielder.
The players received from Boston are all promising but several years away from contributing.
- Montas (20 years old) has played in the South Atlantic League (A-) all season, has a 5.70 ERA, but has a promising arm. He's starting right now, but probably will be a reliever by the time he gets to the upper levels of the system.
- Rondon is actually I think a worse prospect than Juan Herrera, who was dealt for Scrabble. He's a good-field/no-hit middle infielder in the New York-Penn (SSA) league.
- Wendelken is a reliever in the South Atlantic League (A-). He's 20 years old, has some decent numbers, but I don't think he'll amount to much.
Of the four players the White Sox received, just one (Garcia) would qualifiy as a Prospect That Matters. Given that the White Sox got almost complete salary relief from the deal, getting an everyday player isn't that bad a return.
Traded SS Juan Herrera (SSA) to the St. Louis Cardinals for LHP Marc Rzepczynski
You know about this deal. The Indians have been looking for left-handed relief pitching all year, cycling through both minor-league free agents and prospects in search of one. Finally, after shrinking from the demands of more "proven" LOOGYs, the Indians went with Rzepczynsk, who has had success in the past and has struggled in a general role with the Cardinals. Even while he's had trouble this year, that trouble has been largely against right-handed hitters, so as long as the Indians limit his exposure to right-handers, Scrabble can be useful. In addition, Scrabble is under control through at least 2015, and probably 2016 (because he's spent a lot of time in AAA this season).
Traded OF Avisail Garcia to the Chicago White
Received SS Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox
With Jhonny Peralta almost certain to miss most of the rest of the season because of the Biogenesis scandal, this deal was all about getting a replacement for Peralta. Iglesias is about as completely different a shortstop from Peralta as possible. He's a fantastic defender, having been compared to Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel, and has hit in his brief time with the Red Sox, but that .330/.376/.409 line comes with an unsustainable .376 BABIP and he he hasn't hit at all in the minors. He will certainly help in the field, particularly with Miguel Cabrera playing to his right, and the Tigers have enough offense to handle a hole in the lineup.
Traded OF Danry Vasquez (A-) and PTBNL to the Houston Astros for RHP Jose Veras
Veras was closing games for the Astros, but he will not be closing for the Tigers, instead slotting into a setup role. Veras has bounced around quite a bit in his career, even spending some time with the Indians in 2009. The Tigers can bring him back in 2014 if they pick up a relatively cheap $3.25M team option.
Vasquez is a 19-year-old left fielder who was playing for the Tigers in the Midwest League. He's going to have to hit to advance through the system, and at least this season he's done that, hitting .281/.333/.390. He's a pretty good return for a fungible relief arm masquerading as a closer, especially considering they picked him up Veras last winter after he was let go by the Milwaukee Brewers. If I had to compare Vasquez to a player in the Indians system, it would be Anthony Santander, but I think Santander is a better all-around prospect.
Traded RHP Kyle Smith (A+) to the Houston Astros for OF Justin Maxwell
Smith has put up good numbers in the Carolina League (2.85 ERA, 8.3 SO/9) and has a mid-rotation ceiling. In return the Royals got Maxwell, a reserve outfielder who hits right-handed. He's under team control through at least 2016, but usually fourth outfielders don't stick around long enough to become free agents.
Traded C Drew Butera (AAA) to the Los Angeles Dodgers for PTBNL or Cash
Not sure why the Dodgers needed Butera, who was the Twins' Omir Santos this year, but they got him. The Twins won't get much in return, if anything.