Thursday, September 20, 2012

Heyman: Sox Won't Pick Up Peavy's Option

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 (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.


  1. My math may be a little off, but Peavy will have been paid just under 2$ Million for each win a Sox uniform.

  2. Considering it's essentially an $18 million option (since they pay the $4 million either way) and Peavy has been worth that this season, I think the Sox should strongly consider picking up the option. This seems like a better option than risking a long term deal for a 30+ pitcher with health problems, or losing Peavy from a (hopefully) competitive 2013 Sox team.

    1. I don't entirely agree with that. Peavy has been worth 4.2 WAR this season, and I think the Sox can easily replace that by using the $18 million they'd save on Peavy on a couple of other pitchers. Then when you consider John Danks should be healthy in 2013, I think the Sox could be just as competitive with a neew rotation than what they could with Peavy back.

    2. Right, 4.2 WAR via FanGraphs and 4.8 via Baseball Reference. No doubt that $18 million is a premium, but with even Edwin Jackson getting eight figures it seems unlikely that the Sox could get a decent starter and have much left over. It's an interesting argument... certainly if it comes down to having Youk and Liriano vs. Peavy and Brent Morel / random cheap 3B that's a tough call. I just like the flexibility of having Peavy on a 1 year deal considering the age of this roster.


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