Chicago White Sox: Could the Next Closer Be...Jake Peavy?

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IMarch 28, 2012

Jake Peavy may someday wind up in someone's bullpen. It just won't be this year.
Jake Peavy may someday wind up in someone's bullpen. It just won't be this year.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox aren't naming a closer at this point in the spring, though that day seems to be fast approaching.

However, has a White Sox pitcher tossed his hat into the ring?

Jake Peavy gave an interview last week in which he was asked about the notion of his moving to the bullpen at some point in his career.

This is what he told's Barry M. Bloom.

"If I can't stay healthy for 200 innings, if somebody says something about closing or being a reliever, I can do that, I can be a reliever," the White Sox pitcher said on Saturday (March 17th). "How do I know that? I can be a reliever because I think I can. That's the bottom line. I can do something because I believe I can do it. If it comes down to that, I'll do it because I love this game."

If Peavy can do something simply by his belief that he can, I would submit that he should believe very hard that he can win 15 games in 2012. If he believes his way to 20, that's fine by me, too.

I wouldn't expect to see Peavy pitching the ninth inning on a regular basis. That is, unless he's finishing the games that he starts, which is also all right with me.

If only it were a case of mind over matter.

The truth is that Peavy's surgically repaired shoulder probably has the biggest say in the direction his career goes heading into the last year of a big contract.

Peavy revealed that the closer conversations were initiated in talks with former Padres teammate Trevor Hoffman, who knows a thing or two about getting the last three outs. He also stated that a possible move to the pen is still some time away.

It certainly isn't crazy to think a hard-throwing strikeout pitcher could make an adjustment to the bullpen. After all, Kerry Wood made the switch on the other side of town. After the White Sox buy Peavy out this winter, you might see him do just that.

Right now, however, there are 17 million reasons you won't see Peavy closing games in 2012.

Peavy is likely going to fail to provide the value his salary suggests as a starter. However, the organization isn't going to pay him that much money to tinker with a new role.

The White Sox are going to have to cross their fingers and hope they get one healthy and productive season out of his arm at the current rate.

For a couple million and a one-year deal, a closer experiment makes sense. Right now, it remains to be seen if Peavy winds up taking that route. I believe Peavy's place is in the rotation in 2012.

If only I had the power to believe in Peavy winning those 20 games.