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With Jake Peavy, Jesse Crain possibly on way out, White Sox chew on future

Jake Peavy pitching en route his victory Thursday has interest from least six teams probably more. | Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Jake Peavy, pitching en route to his victory Thursday, has interest from at least six teams and probably more. | Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

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Updated: August 28, 2013 6:19AM



Can the White Sox contend next season without a total breakdown of the 2013 roster?

That could be the internal debate going on now as Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline nears.

The trade of veteran left-handed reliever Matt Thornton to the Boston Red Sox wasn’t impacted by that debate, nor would it necessarily have influenced a decision on trading Jesse Crain.

Crain probably will remain a Sox reliever into August after suffering a setback Thursday in his recovery from a shoulder strain.

Starter Jake Peavy is another story. At least six teams are getting serious about the veteran right-hander, the winner Thursday in his second straight outing since returning from a fractured rib.

Peavy knows his performance against the Detroit Tigers may have been his last in a Sox uniform at U.S. Cellular Field. But there remains a chance he will stay if Sox general manager Rick Hahn doesn’t get the talent he wants in return.

Manager Robin Ventura would welcome keeping Peavy, who is under contract for next season, a proven competitor and a mentor to the young pitchers on the staff.

‘‘I don’t look at it as just because of the record [this year] I want guys to go,’’ Ventura said Friday before the Sox fell 5-1 to the visiting Kansas City Royals. ‘‘I think we have quality guys who, for me, you can look at as I’ve seen them play better. So I know there’s better play in them, and it’s trying to find a way to get it.’’

But the interest in Peavy has heightened to a point that a bidding war could net Hahn the premium payback he seeks.

The interest seems strongest from the Red Sox, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves. But Peavy is on almost every contending team’s radar — and on some that believe they will be ready to contend next season.

Crain seemed the most likely Sox player to be traded weeks ago, but his setback Thursday will shelve him from any pitching. He said Friday he wouldn’t throw for four or five days.

‘‘Let it calm down and see where it goes from there,’’ he said.

Crain’s sore shoulder was wrapped in ice as he spoke, but he is getting no special treatment for the strain, which has sidelined him since the beginning of July.

He didn’t throw at all during the All-Star break. He started throwing again late last week.

‘‘I think our program coming back into it [now] will be a little more conservative,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously we wanted to be ready before the [trade] deadline, so we might have thrown a [bullpen] a couple days before maybe I would have. Or at least this time we’ll probably take a little more time getting to that step.’’

Ventura said Crain’s return will ‘‘depend on how he feels. I think he [when threw Thursday] it wasn’t feeling quite right. You just shut it down and wait for him to feel better and then start it back up again.’’

Left-hander Jose Quintana (5-3) pitched well Friday, giving up two runs and six hits in seven innings. But the Sox didn’t score until Conor Gillaspie homered off reliever Kelvin Herrera in the eighth.

The Sox had eight hits off Royals starter James Shields (5-7) but couldn’t score, stranding nine runners.

‘‘The team got hits, but you have to realize you’re facing a pretty good pitcher [in Shields],’’ Quintana said.

The loss was the seventh in the last 10 games for the Sox (40-60).



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