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Red Sox Giddy Over Peavy

Boston Hopes Ex-Cy Young Winner Can Give Boost

Boston — Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz didn’t hesitate when asked what he remembered most about newly acquired right-hander Jake Peavy.

Nearly seven years ago, the 37-year-old Ortiz was in Japan with a group of major-league stars. He watched Peavy throw in the bullpen and told him he would win the Cy Young Award.

A year later, he was correct.

The Red Sox acquired the 2007 NL Cy Young winner from the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal on Tuesday night that also sent shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers.

Now, Boston thinks it has the perfect fit with the 32-year old Peavy.

“I remember watching him warm up in the bullpen,” Ortiz said Wednesday as he stood at his locker, surrounded by reporters, about 3 1/2 hours before the Red Sox hosted the Seattle Mariners. “I was kind of behind the guys watching him warm up and I told him, ‘You’re going to win the Cy Young one day.’ The following year he won. He had great stuff.”

The Red Sox acquired the best pitcher dealt before Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Boston general manager Ben Cherington felt the Red Sox got the guy they wanted all along.

“We’ve known him for a long time,” Cherington said. “The scout who signed him as an amateur works for us. We feel like we’ve known him very well before we got him here.”

Peavy is expected to join the Red Sox today. Boston manager John Farrell said Peavy will make his first start with his new club before the team’s seven-game homestand ends Sunday.

Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 starts this season. Farrell could hear the excitement in the pitcher’s voice when the two talked after the deal was completed late Tuesday.

“Just by hearing him speak last night, this has a chance to be an outstanding fit,” Farrell said. “We’ve been able to add a very successful major league starter, whether it’s been in the National League or whether it’s been in the American League.

“He’s made a pretty seamless transition to the American League, a guy that’s been extremely competitive. He is ecstatic about joining the Red Sox and looking forward to not only pitching in Fenway Park, but for the Red Sox in this city. I think he’s going to relish the opportunity when he gets here.”

With Clay Buchholz on the disabled list with a neck strain since early June, the move gives Boston another proven starter for the stretch run in the tight AL East.

“It’ll be a dogfight the right of the way,” Cherington said. “Usually it comes back to pitching and health, hopefully we’ve helped ourselves in the pitching area and stay healthy.”

Cherington also believes that Peavy will thrive in Boston’s sometimes crazed baseball setting.

“He’s been a really good pitcher for a long time,” he said. “He loves to pitch, loves baseball, and he’s a great competitor. I think he’ll respond to this environment.”