In what came as a complete shock on Monday, the Chicago White Sox have started telling teams they will keep starting pitcher Jake Peavy and try to build around him. Peavy is 32 and is under contract for $14.5 million in 2014 and has a $15 million player option for 2015.
ESPN’s Buster Olney was the first to report Chicago’s bold decision and it is either a last-ditch effort to up the right-hander’s trade value, or the White Sox truly think they can build around him. Peavy is listed as the probable starter for Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
Peavy is being pursued by a big group of teams, with the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s and Baltimore Orioles leading the charge. I personally don’t think the White Sox have completely ruled out a trade, but they’re clearly not hearing the kind of offers they will take seriously in exchange for a guy like Peavy. If they can get a nice group of young players in exchange for him, they almost have to pull the trigger.
Money could be an issue in any trade for Peavy, as the White Sox have apparently expressed zero interest in picking up any of the cash remaining on his contract.
So far in 2013, Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He has started 13 games and thrown 80 innings, during which he has struck out 76 batters. The 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner still has gas left in the tank if he can stay healthy and at times he can be dominating.
While the White Sox say they plan on keeping Peavy around, I’d still bank on them trading him if they get a solid offer.