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Injury to Peavy leaves Sox with even fewer trade chips

Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy

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Updated: July 7, 2013 1:03PM

SEATTLE — Reliever Jesse Crain is having the year of his life, which is one good thing for White Sox general manager Rick Hahn if he decides to start dealing valuable pieces for younger players and prospects.

Hahn must be watching Crain with his fingers crossed on one hand and a rabbit’s foot in the other after right-hander Jake Peavy’s most recent injury, a non-displaced rib fracture on his left side that will shut him down for four to six weeks. The best-case scenario is that he will need four weeks to heal and will pitch again in six weeks. That would put the timetable for his return right
after All-Star break — two weeks
before the trade deadline.

What else can go wrong for Hahn’s Sox, who have been ravaged by injuries and bouts of bad baseball by those who have been healthy?

In May, right-hander Gavin Floyd went down with a season-ending elbow injury. In the final year of his contract, Floyd would have been worth plenty to a contending team looking to rent a starter at the All-Star break.

Peavy, who is signed through next season and has no no-trade clause in his contract, has told reporters for weeks he wouldn’t object to be being traded to a contender should the Sox not be among them. Unfortunately for the Sox, Peavy’s stock has dropped because of his injury. This one — in the chest area in the front of his rib cage — adds to an injury history that would take more than a sentence to detail.

With Peavy off the table, Hahn does have trade value left in Crain, 31, who pitched 12/3 innings in the Sox’ 7-5, 16-inning victory Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners to run his streak of scoreless
appearances to 23 games. He would be a good bet to pitch somewhere during the postseason.

‘‘You hear things and it’s been talked about, but I want to stay here and win with these guys first and foremost,’’ Crain said. ‘‘I don’t know what the future holds and what the team’s direction is going to be.’’

Lefty reliever Matt Thornton, 36, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Wedesday, is signed through this year with a team option for 2014. He will be worth something on the market, too, but it’s not a place he wants to go after playing for the Sox since 2006.

‘‘I’ve been involved in rumors for years, so I don’t put any stock in it until it happens,’’ Thornton said. ‘‘You build relationships, and you really enjoy that. I’ve been with Johnny [Danks] for seven years, Gavin for seven years, Paulie [Konerko] for eight years and Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] for eight years. Not that you can’t build new ones for the future, but it’s out of your control and it’s whatever they think is in the best interest of the organization.’’

Thornton recalled his days with the Mariners when teammate Freddy Garcia was traded. It didn’t go over well in the clubhouse.

‘‘He was our ace,’’ Thornton said. ‘‘We were struggling, and that was a big-time blow to our team. That was pretty much saying, ‘We’ve cashed it in, and we’re done.’ Obviously, Chris Sale is not going anywhere this year. But some guys will look at [trades] as a positive, getting pieces for the future. Other guys might see it as a way to the end. But you hope those things don’t happen.’’

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