Jake Peavy said yes to the Chicago White Sox, and Victor Martinez will take aim at the Green Monster.
Roy Halladay, however, stayed put in Toronto.
Highlighting a flurry of deals finished just before the trade deadline, Peavy was shipped out of San Diego on Friday while Martinez went from the rebuilding Cleveland Indians to a contender in Boston.
“What we’re getting in Victor is a middle-of-the-order, switch-hitting batter who can catch, play first, DH,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “It’s a very valuable piece.”
Scott Rolen, Jarrod Washburn, Orlando Cabrera and Nick Johnson were other notable players on the move as teams stocked up for the stretch drive during a busy day that featured 11 trades.
Halladay remained with the fourth-place Blue Jays. After fielding offers for its coveted ace, Toronto decided to retain the 2003 A.L. Cy Young Award winner – at least for now.
“We never really came close at all,” general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. “We were never moved. We listened and we were never moved by a club that made us jump up and say, ‘Wow, this is something that will make us better in the future.’ ”
The biggest surprise of the day was probably Peavy. Sidelined with an injured ankle, he finally agreed to join the White Sox, who landed him with their second pitch of the season.
“A lot has changed since the first time this came around,” Peavy said. “In May, we had just won five or six games in a row and had creeped above .500, and Chicago wasn’t really in the shape that they’re in now.”
Locked in a crowded race for the A.L. Central title, the White Sox sent four young pitchers to the Padres: Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell. The teams barely beat the 1 p.m. PDT cutoff to make deals without waivers.
“It came together very quickly, probably in the last 30-20 seconds,” Chicago general manager Kenny Williams said. “We were really concerned that it wasn’t going to happen.”
In May, the Padres and White Sox reached a deal for Peavy, but the 2007 N.L. Cy Young Award winner turned it down. This time, he agreed to waive his no-trade clause and join the A.L. pennant race.
“He never said no, he just said, ‘Not yet,’ ” Williams said.
Peavy, 28, had spent his entire career with the Padres. He is 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA in 13 starts this season but has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a strained tendon in his right ankle. Williams said the White Sox don’t expect Peavy to pitch until the end of August.
“I don’t think it has set in yet with all that is going on. I’m sure I’ll shed a few tears with the boys in the locker room because this is all I’ve known since I was a 17-year-old kid. It’s been a lot of mixed emotions so far,” Peavy said.
The Red Sox wanted Martinez all along.
Looking for a big bat to boost the offense, they acquired the All-Star slugger for right-hander Justin Masterson and minor league pitchers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price.
It was the Indians’ second major trade in 72 hours – they dealt reigning Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Martinez, 30, has split his time at catcher and first base this season. He is batting .284 with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs.
Boston also sent recently acquired Adam LaRoche and approximately $1.5 million to Atlanta for Casey Kotchman in a swap of left-handed hitting first basemen.
Martinez, who had spent his whole career with Cleveland, fought back tears after being told by general manager Mark Shapiro that he’d been traded. He sat in front of his locker, hugging 4-year-old son Victor Jr. – earlier in the day, the young boy asked his dad, “Are we still an Indian?”
“It’s tough,” Martinez said, his voice choked with emotion. “It’s tough when you know you’re leaving your house and leaving the organization that gave you a chance to play in the big leagues. This organization made me a better ballplayer and a better person.”
Rolen was dealt from Toronto to Cincinnati for a package of three players that included fellow third baseman Edwin Encarnacion. The Blue Jays included cash to cover part of Rolen’s salary.
Batting .320 with eight homers and 43 RBIs, Rolen has one year left on an eight-year, $90 million deal he signed with St. Louis. Former Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty made it a priority to get Rolen.
“He will bring a lot to this ballclub that’s been lacking,” said Jocketty, in his second season as the Reds GM. “He brings leadership. He’s a veteran.”
Minnesota made a move to upgrade at shortstop, acquiring Cabrera and cash from Oakland for minor league infielder Tyler Ladendorf.
Johnson went from last-place Washington to the cost-conscious Marlins, a surprise contender in the N.L. wild-card race. Florida acquired the first baseman and cash for a pitching prospect, left-hander Aaron Thompson.