Sox scouts keeping tabs on Peavy

BOSTON -- Red Sox scouts were in attendance to see Jake Peavy pitch in Chicago on Thursday, when he beat Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers, 7-4, pitching into the eighth inning. He allowed four hits, three of them home runs, and struck out seven.

The Sox also watched Peavy last Saturday when he came off the DL with a fractured rib. Peavy is being followed by a number of teams, and is in line to make one more start before the July 31 trade deadline, if a deal is not made before then. Peavy has told associates he would not be opposed to a trade to Boston.

Sox officials, from ownership on down, reiterated their reluctance to part with top prospects to make a deadline deal. On a radio appearance Wednesday, CEO Larry Lucchino mentioned how highly GM Ben Cherington regards the kids in the pipeline, saying Cherington "guards them like his first-born son."

"We want to make the postseason this year," Lucchino said. "We've surprised a lot of people with the degree of success we've had, and to some degree we've surprised ourselves a little bit. We do have an excellent chance to get there. And if you're a baseball fan, these next few months are just what you look for -- an exciting, competitive team in the playoff hunt all year.

"It's [hard] to bite the bullet. We don't want one year of success. We want continued competitiveness year after year."

Two factors complicate the pursuit of Peavy: He has been a regular on the disabled list with shoulder, elbow, back, rib and groin injuries. He also is guaranteed $14.5 million next season.