It's hard to deny that 2012 has been Jake Peavy's best season in a White Sox uniform. The fact that it's been the only year he's been able to remain healthy is enough reason to make that claim, but Jake's pitched pretty well too.
His record of 10-10 doesn't show it, but win-loss records for pitchers don't mean anything. It's Peavy's 3.26 ERA and his 3.93-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio that tells the larger story. Not to mention that in his next start Jake will be going over the 200 innings mark.
Of course, going into the 2012 season this was supposed to be the last season Jake spent in a White Sox uniform as well. His contract carries an option for the 2013 season that would cost the Sox $22 million, and considering this club was shedding payroll and rebuilding over the winter, the odds of the team paying Peavy that much money were somewhere between slim and none.
And just because Peavy has pitched well in 2012 and the team has outperformed expectations, it doesn't appear those plans have changed.
From Jon Heyman over at CBSSports.com (which only employs the best):
Word is, the White Sox have signaled to Peavy they are unlikely to pick up his $22-million club option for 2013, meaning they'd pay the $4-million buyout and effectively make him a free agent.
The White Sox may yet try to re-sign Peavy after declining that high option. But it's not easy to envision them paying him enough to entice him to re-sign before the free-agency period.
There are no contract discussions ongoing, and the White Sox, who also have catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reliever Brett Myers, starter Francisco Liriano and third baseman Kevin Youkilis as potential free agents, are currently concentrating on trying to fight off the challenge from the Detroit Tigers in the A.L. Central, the South Siders currently lead the division by two games. The White Sox's payroll may rise, especially if they reach the playoffs, after 2011-12 offseason where they let longtime star Mark Buehrle leave and made cuts.Now it doesn't surprise me at all that the Sox plan on declining the option and seeing if they can bring Peavy back on a cheaper deal. It also wouldn't surprise me if that plan didn't work out. The only way I see it happening is if the Sox get to him now and lay the ground work of a deal to be signed this winter.
But I just don't see Peavy doing that.
While I think Jake truly enjoys life here in Chicago, he's 31 years old and probably only has one more big contract in him. Considering that he'll be the second best pitcher available on the free agent market -- behind Zack Greinke -- and if you've paid attention to free agency at all, the "second option" amongst pitchers usually gets paid pretty handsomely.
Just ask Mark Buehrle.
So I can only believe that if Peavy hits the market, he's gone and the Sox will just have to work from there.