The Chicago White Sox have started selling prior to the 2013 MLB non-waiver trade deadline. With several strong performances this July, right-hander Jake Peavy could convince another team to surrender a talented haul of prospects.
Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton was shipped to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Brandon Jacobs, a high-ceiling outfielder. MLB.com's Scott Merkin calls it "the first move made by [general manager Rick] Hahn in the reshaping or rebuilding of the underachieving White Sox but most likely not the last."
However, coming off a broken rib, Peavy's name won't pop up in any serious trade discussions unless we see proof that he's still a frontline starting pitcher.
His contract further complicates the situation. After earning $14.5 million in salary this season, he'll makes just as much in 2014. Moreover, meeting certain durability requirements will give Peavy a $15 million player option to consider for 2015.
When peddling their veteran All-Star to suitors in smaller markets, the White Sox may include cash to maximize whom they receive in return.
As the courtship progresses, you can find all the latest Peavy buzz right here.
Peavy waving to the U.S. Cellular Field crowd for the last time as a member of the White Sox.
July 28 Update
Not surprisingly, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that Jake Peavy is indeed on his way out of the Windy City:
A clubhouse attendant walked into the Chicago White Sox's locker room with five packed suitcases and Jake Peavy in tow. The veteran pitcher is preparing for what seems to be inevitable, a trade that would end his four-year tenure with the team.
"It is sad to think that this is probably my last day in here," Peavy said on Sunday morning. "We all realize the reality of the situation and I am prepared with that to happen soon."
Via Twitter, ESPN's Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports agree that the right-hander is likely to wind up with either the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics or St. Louis Cardinals.
July 26 Update
There were a ton of MLB scouts on hand to watch Jake Peavy face the Detroit Tigers and pick up his second consecutive win.
Four earned runs actually raised his season earned run average to 4.28, but the right-handed fired 118 pitches in seven-plus innings. He put on only six baserunners (four hits and two walks) while piling up seven strikeouts.
ESPN's Jayson Stark spotted player evaluators from the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers (among others). Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the dark-horse Oakland Athletics sent their director of player personnel to Thursday's contest.
Peavy will get one more pre-deadline start—Tuesday at the Cleveland Indians—to impress contenders. Only way he gets moved before then is if a team absolutely overwhelms the Chicago White Sox.
Oakland has been relying on 40-year-old Bartolo Colon as the ace of their pitching staff.
July 24 Update
With very few impact bats available as the deadline approaches, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears that the Oakland Athletics could be motivated to pursue Jake Peavy.
The current A's rotation features Bartolo Colon, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and Dan Straily, and left-hander Brett Anderson is nearing a return from the disabled list. Moreover, rookie Sonny Gray has the ability to contribute down the stretch.
Still, Heyman reminds us that general manager Billy Beane is no stranger to making surprising splashes via trade. Adding Peavy would also counteract the acquisition of Matt Garza by the rival Texas Rangers.
Bruce Bochy "loves" Peavy, but his team won't be pursuing him.
July 23 Update
The world-champion San Francisco Giants have been straddling the buy-or-sell fence as they become small objects in the rear-view mirror of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Entering July 23, they are six games back of the NL West leaders.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that although the Giants will consider acquiring a starting pitcher at the deadline, their solution won't be Jake Peavy. He doubts they have the "quantity or quality of trade chips to sit at the table" once negotiations intensify.
Just look at what happened with Matt Garza. The Texas Rangers surrendered Mike Olt, their top prospect, and three or four young pitchers (depending on how Chicago Cubs use PTBNL agreement).
The extra year of Peavy's contract compensates for his age, so the Chicago White Sox will expect a similar haul for his services
Peavy pitching on July 20. A Cardinals scout was spotted in attendance.
July 20 Update
Jake Peavy overcame a few early rallies to give the Chicago White Sox six solid innings and pick up a victory in his first start back from the disabled list. He threw 66 of 96 pitches for strikes and didn't issue any walks.
A handful of teams reportedly sent scouts to witness Peavy's outing first hand, including the St. Louis Cardinals, tweets Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The club's once-dominant starting rotation has slumped in recent weeks, and potential reinforcement Chris Carpenter continues to struggle on his minor league rehab assignment.
Meanwhile, Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post hears that the Washington Nationals would pursue Peavy if they aren't satisfied with any internal options. Their general manager, Mike Rizzo, prefers very experienced players whose contracts extend beyond 2013.
Clay Buchholz's nagging injury has affected Boston's starting rotation depth.
July 19 Update
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe tweets that the Boston Red Sox are gathering intel on several potentially available players, including Jake Peavy. They will send scouts to his three remaining pre-deadline starts.
Julian Benbow—also of The Globe—passes along a concerning update about injured ace Clay Buchholz. The right-hander dominated through his first 12 starts of the season before going on the disabled list with a strained trapezius.
From manager John Farrell:
“We have every intention and hope and outlook that he will resume pitching this season,” Farrell said. “I wish I could give you an exact date, though, to be honest with you. And I know Clay would, too. There’s no one more frustrated in this than Clay."
The Red Sox and Chicago White Sox already worked together this month on the Matt Lindstrom trade. Boston's farm system is flush with middle infielders and high-ceiling starting pitchers.
July 16 Update
The wait is almost over.
A team source informs Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that Jake Peavy will be activated in time to face the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
It should be a favorable matchup for him, as the NL East leaders have a banged-up lineup. All of their starting outfielders suffered injuries shortly before the All-Star break, and Freddie Freeman declined to participate in the Midsummer Classic to nurse his jammed thumb.
Struggling Dylan Axelrod will presumably be removed from the starting rotation.
July 14 Update
More than one month after fracturing a rib, Peavy is scheduled to face professional hitters again. The 32-year-old began his rehab assignment on Sunday with the Double-A Birmingham Barons.
He stretched out to 90 pitches (57 strikes) in the minor league tune-up, surrendering only one run over five innings. Seven baserunners reached—five hits and two walks—as the right-hander tallied four strikeouts. It should be noted that the right-hander was disappointed in his stamina and command.
Peavy expects to return to the Chicago White Sox rotation the first weekend after the All-Star break, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Coming back on Friday or Saturday would put him on track to make three starts before the non-waiver trade deadline.
Before landing on the disabled list, he boasted a 4.30 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 67.0 innings pitched.
Those stats, however, were bloated by his two final ugly outings. Through nine starts, Peavy had a 2.97 ERA and 9.3 K/9.
Chicago may have interest in a young, controllable starting pitcher like Randall Delgado.
July 12 Update
ESPN's Buster Olney has reason to believe that the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks could match up in a Jake Peavy deal.
He tweets that Peavy's club has sent scouts to see the D-Backs, presumably to evaluate young players who could make a trade worthwhile.
Olney names Randall Delgado, a 23-year-old right-hander acquired by Arizona in January's Justin Upton blockbuster. In his three-year major league career, Delgado owns a 3.92 ERA and 122/60 K/BB in 160.2 innings pitched. He won't reach free agency until after the 2018 season.
The fact that these teams have talked about Peavy is surprising when you consider the latest comments from D-Backs general manager Kevin Towers. Per MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, he said bullpen depth was the top priority.
Then again, Olney explains in an ESPN insider post (subscription required) that Towers "drafted, developed and promoted" Peavy when both were with the San Diego Padres organization. He adds that "Towers has always loved Peavy’s competitiveness."
Arizona has Trevor Cahill (bruised hip) and Brandon McCarthy (shoulder inflammation) on the disabled list. With both expected to return later this summer, Peavy is a curious fit.
July 10 Update
Compared to Jake Peavy, Matt Garza is two-and-a-half years younger, healthier and owed significantly less money through season's end—about $3 million after July 31. That's why everybody from the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox to Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians have shown some interest.
Not surprisingly, a major league executive tells Buster Olney that the current asking price from the Chicago Cubs is "incredibly high" (ESPN Insider subscription required). Olney says it's an example of "Zack Wheeler Syndrome," referring to the 2011 trade where the New York Mets kept free-agent-to-be Carlos Beltran until the final week of July when the San Francisco Giants finally overpaid.
Any potential contenders who don't like the idea of surrendering top prospects—or prefer to control a starting pitcher beyond 2013—could turn their attention to Peavy instead.