Escobar began the season as San Francisco's #2 prospect (and #56 in MLB, according to Baseball America). Hembree was #7 on the Giants' list.
The two teams will split the remaining $5 million owed to Peavy this season. Peavy will make his Giants debut on Sunday night against the Dodgers.
Baseball America, on Escobar and Hembree:
Escobar always had size and strength, but he got himself in better condition and made an adjustment to raise his elbow in his delivery, allowing him to locate his 92-93 mph fastball, and for the first time, throw a dependable breaking ball. He gained confidence in his slider and it's a plus offering at times that he can throw early in the count or as a put-away pitch. His changeup also ranges from average to plus, and he held righthanded hitters to a .222 average. Escobar has a durable arm and likes to throw a lot between starts, so a bullpen role isn't out of the question. He was pitching in that role in the Venezuelan League, but his three-pitch mix offers too much potential as a starter. He figures to start 2014 at Triple-A Fresno.Teddy Cahill, MLB.com:
With a fastball that approaches triple digits and the makings of a power slider, Hembree has closer stuff. He works at 93-96 mph with quality life when fully healthy and got back up to 95 in the AFL. He's doing a better job of maintaining his arm slot, which has helped the consistency of his 82-85 mph slider. His changeup probably won't become anything more than a show-me pitch, but he has made some progress with it. If anything, Hembree's injury and diminished velocity showed him the importance of having dependable offspeed stuff. While he can be overpowering, he also has bouts of wildness.
Edwin Escobar, LHP: Escobar signed with the Rangers as a 16-year old out of Venezuela in 2008, but he pitched just one season for them before the Giants acquired him as a compensation for allowing the Rangers to keep Rule 5 selection Ben Snyder. Escobar pitched well in the Giants system, rising to Triple-A Fresno as a 22-year old this season. He's been met with a bit more resistance in the hitter friendly parks of the Pacific Coast League and posted a 5.11 ERA and struck out 96 batters in 111 innings this season [20 starts]. Escobar has a solid three-pitch mix and he commands his low-90s fastball well. He has also proved to be durable, throwing 370.1 innings since the start of 2012.Chris Haft, MLB.com:
Heath Hembree, RHP: Hembree's big arm has made him a force out of the bullpen since the Giants drafted him in 2010. He has spent the last few years as the closer for Triple-A Fresno and got a brief look in the big leagues last September. His fastball gets up to 98 mph, but he more typically works in the mid-90s. At its best, his slider is a swing-and-miss offering and helped him average 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings in parts of three seasons with Fresno. He's saved 105 games in the Minor Leagues and has the mindset necessary to pitch late in games at the highest level.
Escobar, who's also ranked 77th by MLB.com among prospects from all organizations, ... participated for the World team in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game recently. Hembree, once considered San Francisco's closer of the future, is 1-3 with a 3.89 ERA and 18 saves for Fresno. He has struck out 46 and walked 13 in 39.1 innings.The consensus at SoSH is extremely positive. From curly2:
Great deal by Cherington. Even if Escobar doesn't make it as a starter (and he still has plenty of time to make it as a starter), they can probably get value out of him as a reliever. Hembree may not pan out, but sometimes relievers just "get it," and he certainly has the arm to be one of those guys. I thought they would just get a warm body for Peavy, but they got two guys with actual potential.