Jake Peavy Rumors
It didn't take long for Rick Hahn to make his first move as the general manager of the White Sox. Four days after officially introducing Hahn as GM, the team announced a two-year, $29MM contract extension with Jake Peavy. The deal will keep Peavy in Chicago through 2014 and includes an option for 2015.
“Jake Peavy showed again last season why he is capable of being one of the top pitchers in the American League,” Hahn said in a statement released by the team.
Peavy gets a $14.5MM salary in 2013 and 2014. The 2015 option becomes a player option if Peavy reaches innings thresholds in 2013 and 2014. Peavy's previous contract included a $22MM club option with a $4MM buyout. Peavy still receives the buyout, according to the team. It will be paid in equal installments from 2016-19.
Peavy, 31, started 32 games this past season -- easily his best showing since he pitched for the Padres. In 219 innings Peavy posted a 3.37 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. He would have been one of the top starters available in free agency if the White Sox had declined his 2013 option without re-signing him.
This marks Rick Hahn's first major deal as Chicago's GM. CAA Sports represents Peavy, who was without representation as recently as a few weeks ago.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Rick Hahn was officially introduced as the new White Sox general manager at a press conference today and addressed some hot stove topics with the media (including Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune).
- Hahn projected that the 2013 White Sox payroll should be "right in the same neighborhood" of the team's $97.67MM payroll from last season.
- The team has had "good talks back and forth already" with Jake Peavy's representatives. The Sox hold a $22MM option on Peavy for 2013 that they're expected to buy out for $4MM, and while Hahn left the door open for Peavy to return, the price tag may be too high. "I know Jake’s preference – which he hasn’t been shy about – is to be back here in Chicago," Hahn said. "And that’s always a good place to start. But there does come a point where there are certain opportunities elsewhere that don’t make sense for us to try to chase.”
- Hahn has spoken with A.J. Pierzynski's agent though there is "a good dialogue" between the two sides, Hahn noted that the team won't know their chances of bringing the veteran catcher back until the market develops.
- "Given the sort of shallowness of this year’s free agent market and the fact that there are some clubs with some money to spend, I’m not overly optimistic that we’re going to be huge players in free agency," Hahn said. “But at the same time, we’re going to be out there looking for values and certainly continue to talk to our guys and see if we can’t fit them in for next year, too.”
- While Hahn was considered for some other GM openings with other teams in recent years, "I don't feel I ever seriously got on the doorstep of leaving," he said (via Gonzales' Twitter account). Hahn was known to be a candidate for the Cubs' general manager opening last winter.
The Nationals and Cardinals began their NLDS today, 79 years to the day of the last playoff game for a Washington franchise. The series will also feature the largest age gap between two managers facing off in the post-season (27 years and 235 days between 69-year-old Davey Johnson of the Nationals and 42-year-old Mike Matheny of the Cardinals), according to the Elias Sports Bureau via a tweet by ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Other notes and nuggets from the Senior Circuit:
- It is highly unlikely the Braves will attempt to sign Josh Hamilton because they typically don't pursue top-of-payscale free agents who come with questions, tweets the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien.
- Adrian Gonzalez told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he felt he struggled this season because he was "trying too hard." Gonzalez was even disappointed by his career-high 47 doubles. Also in the profile, the Dodger first baseman discussed the responsibility he feels as a Mexican-American athlete in a heavily Latino city.
- The Dodgers will continue to strengthen their starting rotation which could lead them to target Zack Greinke, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Cubs will need to acquire two or three starting pitchers merely to put a representative team on the field, opines Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Wittenmyer adds don't look for the Cubs to sign Greinke or Jake Peavy, as Shaun Marcum and Anibal Sanchez are more in line with the current front-office thinking.
- Jake Westbrook, rehabbing from discomfort in his right oblique, threw a bullpen session this morning and hopes to be available for bullpen duty if the Cardinals advance to the NLCS, reports MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch. The throwing schedule for Westbrook is fluid because he will be leaving the team after Game 2 to be with his wife, who is scheduled to be induced into labor for the birth of their fourth child on Thursday.
- The Cardinals will win the World Series in six games over the Tigers, predicts Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com in his playoff prognostication column.
MLB agent Jeff Berry will represent Jake Peavy in an offseason that will likely see the right-hander hit free agency, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Berry, an agent with CAA’s baseball division, said Peavy is open-minded with weeks to go before he’s expected to appear on the free agent market.
“Jake loves his teammates and the organization,” Berry told Gonzales. “Having said that, he’s excited to experience the free agent process for the first time in his career.”
Peavy’s contract includes a $22MM option for 2013, and the White Sox are expected to decline the option in favor of a $4MM buyout. The right-hander had also considered hiring John Boggs or representing himself before selecting Berry.
Rick Hahn, the White Sox executive who will soon be named the team’s general manager, has negotiated a number of significant contracts with Berry in the past, Gonzales writes. Peavy has set himself up for a multiyear deal with his best season in years.
“Jake is 31, a three-time All-Star, a Cy Young winner, one of the best competitors in the game and pitching as well as ever,” Berry said.
Peavy posted a 3.37 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 219 innings for the White Sox this past season. He’ll join Zack Greinke as one of the top free agent pitchers available, assuming the White Sox decline his option. Barry Axelrod represented Peavy until deciding to join the Diamondbacks organization.
The White Sox will soon promote their top two baseball executives, Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com confirmed today. Williams will become the team’s president and Hahn will be the general manager and the team’s primary baseball decision maker, as expected. Here’s the latest on three of the organization’s free agents...
- Catcher A.J. Pierzynski loves playing for the White Sox and is close with owner Jerry Reinsdorf. A two-year, $16MM contract could work for both sides, Heyman suggests.
- The White Sox will decline Jake Peavy’s $22MM option, but they hope to agree to terms on a new deal to keep the right-hander in Chicago, Heyman reports. Though there will be lots of competition for Peavy, Heyman guesses the White Sox will be able to re-sign him as long as they make a competitive offer.
- The White Sox plan to decline Kevin Youkilis’ $13MM option for 2013, Heyman reports. However, they loved having the third baseman on the roster this year, so Heyman suggests they’ll try to work out a two-year contract, perhaps in the $15MM range.
Here are the latest agency-related notes from around MLB...
- Dodgers infielder Luis Cruz hired John Boggs to represent him, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). Boggs also represents Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and a number of others.
- Numerous agents contacted White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy after he revealed he might hire a new representative, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter). Peavy is still deciding between various options and may end up representing himself this offseason, when he's expected to hit free agency.
- Here are some related updates from last night. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for details on which agents represent which MLB players.
With agent Barry Axelrod no longer able to represent his clients to due a new role in the Diamondbacks' front office, Jake Peavy is mulling his options for this coming offseason. Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that Peavy is contemplating representing himself or hiring one of John Boggs or Jeff Berry (Twitter links).
Peavy's resurgence this season has been a key component to Chicago's surprising run at the American League Central Division title. The oft-injured 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner has fired 211 innings of 3.37 ERA ball with a 7.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 36.6 percent ground-ball rate. His 90.8 mph average fastball velocity is down from his best years with the Padres when he averaged better than 92 mph, but he's still posted his highest innings total since that 2007 season.
The White Sox hold a $22MM option on Peavy for next season, but despite his bounceback campaign they're expected to pay a $4MM buyout rather than make Peavy one of baseball's highest paid pitchers in 2013.
Boggs' agency -- John Boggs & Associates -- represents big-name players such as Adrian Gonzalez, Cole Hamels and Trevor Cahill, as MLBTR's Agency Database shows. Berry, a high-ranking agent within CAA Sports, has many high-profile clients in his own right, including Joe Blanton, Buster Posey and a pair of pitchers that Peavy knows well -- John Danks and Mark Buehrle.
Regardless of who ends up doing the negotiations, Peavy's strong season has almost assuredly earned him a multi-year deal this winter.
Rookie outfielder Mike Trout hit his 30th home run in the opener of the Angels-Rangers doubleheader this afternoon to become the youngest player in MLB history to slug 30 homers and steal 30 bases and the first rookie with a season of 30 homers and 40 steals. Trout is also the first player in MLB history to record 30 home runs, 45 steals, and 125 runs scored in a single season (h/t ESPN, via Twitter). Trout swiped his 48th base in that game and is now just two stolen bases away from joining Barry Bonds and Eric Davis as the only 30/50 players in baseball history. Today's historic performance further fuels the AL MVP debate between Trout and Miguel Cabrera, a debate chronicled by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Elsewhere on the Junior Circuit:
- White Sox manager Robin Ventura had to clarify comments he made about his future yesterday, reports CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes. Ventura said he was only making a joke when he said he just wanted to get through this season. "I plan on being here for two more years, yes,” Ventura said. “Unless they don’t want me to be here.”
- If the White Sox opt for the $4MM buyout of Jake Peavy's contract rather than exercise the $22MM 2013 option, the right-hander may act as his own agent, reports Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times. Barry Axelrod, Peavy's longtime agent, is no longer able to represent him because Axelrod will be taking a position in the Diamondbacks' front office. For his part, Peavy says he wants to remain with the White Sox, "I love Chicago and this team. I hope we'll be able to work something out."
- The Twins will have to work something out with pitcher Scott Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. The club has a $9.25MM team option for 2013 and it seems highly unlikely they'd exercise that and make Baker the team's highest-paid pitcher coming off surgery, writes 1500ESPN.com Phil Mackey. GM Terry Ryan wouldn't say much about Baker's status other than, "If you think he's going to be able to contribute in 2013, the answer is yes (we do have interest)."
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has a feeling some of his coaching staff won't be back after the team's second consecutive 90-loss season, according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger and Jordan Garretson. "I have all the faith that they can do the job, but some of these things aren't going to be left up to me, it's going to be left to ownership and [general manager] Terry [Ryan]," Gardenhire said. "If he thinks change is needed, he's going to talk to the owners and we'll go from there."
- Within the same piece, Bollinger and Garretson confirmed Gardenhire hadn't spoken to Joe Mauer about moving to third base. Gardenhire said he has considered playing Mauer some at third when asked about the possibility during a conference call with season-ticket holders on Thursday.
- The Blue Jays' Darren Oliver is undecided if he will continue playing in 2013, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Oliver says the main deciding factor will be "my two kids and my wife." The Blue Jays hold a $3MM club option on the left-hander, who has posted a 1.78 ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 in 60 relief appearances this year covering nearly 56 innings.
- The Rays ultimately may be known more for not providing enough support to take advantage of one of the best overall pitching performances in recent times; but, there has been a lot accomplished, writes Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin who recounts the good, bad and interesting.
- Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com has obtained an assessment of the Red Sox’s top 20 prospects by pro scouts for another big-league team. The young talent will be needed as Boston lost 90 games for the first time since 1966 after being swept by the Orioles today.
- The Yankees, Rangers and Orioles each clinched a playoff spot on Sunday evening thanks to a Mike Napoli-led Texas victory over the Angels. All three teams remain in the hunt for division titles, but three more regular season games must be played this week before final seeding can be determined. For the Orioles, the return to the playoffs comes after a lengthy absence as Baltimore's last postseason appearance came in 1997.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
How long will the Wild Card playoff format be a one-game elimination? The running gag among baseball executives, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, is until the Yankees are eliminated in a such fashion. That possibility is looming larger as the Yankees and Orioles are tied for the AL East lead with four games to play. The Yankees currently have a one-game lead over the A's in the Wild Card race. However, if the two teams finished with identical records, the Yankees would have to travel to Oakland because they tied in the season series and the A’s currently own the next tiebreaker - a superior record within their own division. It will make for an interesting finish to the season. Also from Rosenthal's column:
- In response to the likelihood the two AL Wild Card teams will have a better record than the AL Central Division champion, Rosenthal suggests the playoff qualifiers with the two worst records meet in the Wild Card game. Rosenthal admits winning a weak division would be less meaningful, but such a team hardly would be in position to argue since it would be lucky to reach the playoffs in the first place.
- Angels owner Arte Moreno recently acknowledged the fans' desire for the team to re-sign Torii Hunter, but Rosenthal says he may have competition from a division rival. The Rangers have long had interest in Hunter, who lives in a Dallas suburb. With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli free agents this winter and Nelson Cruz a free agent next offseason, the team almost certainly will look for offensive help. Rosenthal believes a trade for a younger slugger such as Arizona's Justin Upton is more likely than a short-term signing of Hunter. But at the very least, the Rangers could pursue Hunter to drive up the price for the Angels.
- Despite the recent slump that may cost the White Sox a playoff berth, Rosenthal claims this has been a successful season for the South Siders. Rosenthal points to highlights like Robin Ventura establishing himself as a manager, Chris Sale developing into an ace, a number of rookie pitchers emerging as valuable parts, and bounce back seasons from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Jake Peavy.
- Rosenthal credits the Rays' recent resurgence to manager Joe Maddon's decision to make batting practice optional and allow players to arrive at the park later, which resulted in the players becoming more relaxed.
The White Sox have signaled to Jake Peavy that they’re unlikely to exercise their $22MM club option for 2013, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Instead, the team is expected to pay a $4MM buyout in a move that would make Peavy a free agent.
The White Sox might try to re-sign Peavy after declining the option, but it seems likely he’ll reach the free agent market. Peavy enjoys playing for the White Sox and would like to return, agent Barry Axelrod told Heyman. The right-hander prefers manager Robin Ventura to former manager Ozzie Guillen and appears to have favorable feelings about the White Sox, Heyman reports.
Peavy could be the second best free agent starting pitcher behind Zack Greinke this offseason (FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement suggests as much). Peavy, 31, has a 3.26 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 36.8% ground ball rate in 198 2/3 innings this year. The shoulder problems that limited him to approximately 100 innings per season from 2009-11 no longer appear to be holding him back.
The White Sox could raise payroll for 2013, especially if they make the playoffs. However, they aren’t currently discussing new contracts with prospective free agents A.J. Pierzynski, Brett Myers, Francisco Liriano and Kevin Youkilis, Heyman reports.