I voted this week in the Minor League Update poll that Aaron Poreda would be a reliever, specifically a closer. I go back and forth on whether he's a starter or reliever but more often recently I've settled on a reliever.
I've not been on the "Clayton Richard is horsedung" one week and "Clayton Richard is awesome" another week ride that others have. He's probably a #4 starter.
I consider Adam Russell largely useless. Basically Masset.
Dexter Carter currently projects as a reliever. If he managed to develop a changeup, he could end up being a #3 / 4 type starter but his fastball is probably average-ish and his curve can be plus but is inconsistent due to his mechanics. Could all this get sorted out? Sure. But he's a long way from the majors.
And, since all of these guys are pitchers, there's the attendant increased injury risk over a position player.
So, the White Sox acquire a frontline starter under control for 3-4 more years for a bunch of guys who may not be much more than relievers or backend rotation types. Sounds good, right? Well, the potential problem with the deal is that Peavy's contract isn't good. By no means is it bad but it's not like he's being grossly underpaid. He makes $15M, $16M, $17M, and $22M ($4M buyout) over the next four years. His salary is quite reasonable this year but the Sox are going to be paying him for at least one month of touring North Carolina and training rooms and i'd say it's debatable what the Sox will be getting out of him after he returns from injury.
Essentially, the Sox traded for a guy being paid about what he'll be worth going forward and gave up some cheap parts who, no matter what their blemishes, are very likely will be providing some significant surplus value to the Padres going forward.
I don't hate the deal - and if Peavy comes back strong to close out this season I'd hate it less - but this isn't a slam dunk for the Sox, either. Kenny Williams is gambling again and we'll see how he does this time.