Right-hander prepping to make Tuesday's start with Deadline near
CLEVELAND -- In the game of high stakes baseball poker, where Jake Peavy is the jackpot payout, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn teams interested in the right-hander's services presently are seated at the final table.
The White Sox traded reliever Jesse Crain and cash considerations to the Rays on Monday for either players to be named or cash considerations of their own. Following that trade, reports began to pop up on Twitter that the White Sox no longer were interested in trading the right-hander and wanted to build their rotation around Peavy and Chris Sale. Peavy is under contract at $14.5 million for the 2014 season, while being owed approximately $5.28 million for the rest of the current campaign.
Other reports arose that the Oakland A's, considered with Boston as the main pursuers for Peavy, had moved on from that particular pursuit. Yet, starting pitcher Andre Rienzo arrived from Triple-A Charlotte to join the White Sox as a temporary Peavy insurance policy, with manager Robin Ventura saying before the game that he wouldn't be caught short-handed, so it all could be posturing on both sides to get their best respective deal as the non-waiver Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday quickly approaches.
Then again, all of these sentiments could be true. Nothing will be known for certain for another day or possibly two.
And when Hahn was asked to update the Peavy situation during a Monday evening conference call, basically showing his hand, Hahn simply responded with a "no" before expounding.
"With any player who is under contract for future seasons, there certainly is no urgency to make a deal now," said Hahn, speaking generally without specifically referring to Peavy. "I'm not under any marching orders from [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] or [executive vice president] Kenny [Williams] to cull payroll at this time.
"It's more about doing what's the best baseball deal now. When you have a situation like Jesse, who's a free agent at the end of the year, or Matt Thornton, the urgency to do something prior to the Deadline is a little bit greater. But for guys controlled in 2014 and beyond, whether we make a move or not is going to be based on the talent exchanged and whether that makes us better in the future."
Peavy is listed as the White Sox starter on Tuesday against the Indians at Progressive Field. Taking the mound for Game 2 of this four-game set doesn't necessarily mean Peavy is staying, but it certainly would be a strong indication that the White Sox talent demands asked for in return haven't been met.
All Peavy can do is get ready for his next start without worrying about the rumors, just as he has been doing for the past week.
"Obviously, we all hear the speculation and know that there's stuff being talked about," said Peavy, who talked to pitching coach Don Cooper about his situation on Monday and praised Hahn for keeping him abreast of the trade talks over the past week to 10 days. "But as a professional and somebody who is on this team and excited to be at this point and time, I have to be ready for the Indians and I will be."
When asked if he would be more surprised to start for the White Sox on Tuesday or not start, Peavy couldn't offer up an answer.
"I don't know," said Peavy, shaking his head with a smile. "I'll be happy when Wednesday is here in that there's no more speculation. I know that there's a good chance I could start and there's a good chance I won't start. I don't know what else to say other than there's a lot of speculation on a lot of people's part.
"At the end of the day, I'm listening to my coaches and the front office staff. All I can do as a player is get ready to do what I know is scheduled for me and that's pitch tomorrow night here in Cleveland."
Trading Peavy stands as an integral part of the White Sox rebuilding project or even reshaping project. Keeping Peavy gives the White Sox a even stronger pitching core going into 2014 that could speed up that return to contention.
This posturing soon will end. Until then, it can be safely assumed that both sides are working for leverage.
"Selfishly, I would love to go in and say if I have to go, I would love to go to these places. But I wouldn't do that," Peavy said. "I respect Rick and this organization too much. If I'm to be moved, they need to make the best move for the Chicago White Sox whatever that may be. I wouldn't in any way try to factor into that decision."