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.