Jake Peavy: Loss of Jacoby Ellsbury hurts, but Red Sox 'feel like the team to beat'

February 15, 2014 - 5:19 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy suggested that the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury for the Yankees on a seven-year, $153 million contract represents a notable loss for his team, but suggested that the team is hopeful that Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore will help to offset that loss.

"Certainly losing the players we lost, it hurts. We all know what Jacoby brought to the table and how great of a defender he was in center field. Obviously an offensive player and then him on the basepaths. So we know that we have a hole there," said Peavy. "Jackie Bradley has shown in times past that he'€™s plenty capable of filling in. And hopefully the more he plays, the more comfortable he becomes. His talent and ability that'€™s in him, we know, will come out. Obviously we'€™re hoping for that '€¦ Grady Sizemore and keeping him healthy, we'€™ll have a very good option there."

Peavy also suggested that he and other members of the Sox would like to see free agent shortstop Stephen Drew come back to Boston.

"I think a lot of people are holding out hope that there'€™s a chance he may come walk into this locker room any day," said Peavy. "We understand that doesn'€™t look very promising. At the same time we all saw in the playoffs what [Xander Bogaerts] brings to the table. And we'€™ve all seen [Will Middlebrooks]. But we have plenty enough in this room to do what we want to get done and that'€™s win a world championship."

Asked if the Red Sox remain the team to beat, Peavy said that the team wouldn't duck from any such labels.

"That'€™s not for me to go out and say but I can promise you this, whether we are or we aren'€™t, we'€™ll take the field like we are every night," said Peavy. "That starts here, the first time we take the field at spring training we'€™ll feel like the team to beat no matter what anybody says. That'€™s just the mentality this team will always be with."