White Sox won’t pick up Jake Peavy’s $22 million option
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org September 20, 2012 10:36PM
Francisco Liriano pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs and four hits. He had three strikeouts. | Getty images
Updated: October 22, 2012 6:33AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Injuries have prevented Jake Peavy from making a big bang for his bucks since coming to the White Sox in 2009, but the team is squeezing every ounce of value out of the 2007 Cy Young Award winner this season — which, chances are, is his last on the South Side.
Peavy, who makes his team-high 30th start and will pass 200 innings Friday when the Sox open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, won’t have his $22 million club option picked up for 2013, meaning the Sox would pay a $4 million buyout and make him a free agent for the first time.
The Sox let Mark Buehrle walk in a similar situation last offseason.
“I get it,’’ Peavy said. “But [the contract] is not in the forefront of my mind at all. There’s nothing that I’m worried about other than trying to get this team in the playoffs. I wouldn’t even know where to start with finances and how any of that works out. This will be my first time in this position, but I’ve made it clear that I’d like to be here in Chicago, for what it’s worth.’’
The Sox could decline the option and try to re-sign Peavy, 31, at a smaller number than $22 million, and Peavy isn’t ruling out that possibility. But he stands to make big money in a free-agent pitching market that includes Zack Greinke but not much more.
General manager Ken Williams won’t discuss Peavy’s status until after the season. A.J. Pierzynski, Kevin Youkilis, Francisco Liriano and Brett Myers also are potential free agents.
Asked on WSCR-AM (670) on Sunday if he hopes to re-sign Peavy, Williams said, “Yes. The only question is whether we can afford him or not, what he’s looking for. We’ll take a look at that at the end of the season and make our determination then.’’
Peavy (11-11, 3.26 ERA) ranks third in the American League with four complete games and is eighth in innings (1982/3), strikeouts (177) and opponents’ average (.237).
Williams wouldn’t comment on a report that he will be promoted after the season, with assistant GM Rick Hahn moving up to the GM chair except to say while walking through the clubhouse that “the focus is on these guys.’’
Hahn is highly respected in the industry, and the move, which would keep a valued executive on board, has been discussed for some time.
Hahn, in his 12th season with the Sox, has been groomed to move up and has been interviewed for several GM openings. He also has turned down interview opportunities.
Williams, the GM since after the 2000 season, is senior vice president. Hahn already has the title of vice president. Their working relationship could be along the lines of the Cubs’ front office with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and executive vice president and GM Jed Hoyer.
This and that
Paul Konerko, who sat out with a stiff back but expects to play Friday, shaved his mustache. So did Adam Dunn.
The two made a pact last week that they’d lose them when the Sox lost.
Wednesday’s loss snapped a five-game winning streak.
“Didn’t look good, didn’t feel good,’’ Dunn said.
◆ The Sox have been in first place for 112 days, including every day since July 24 and all but eight since May 29.