The Chicago White Sox already started making big offseason moves Tuesday when they agreed to a two-year, $29 million contract with starting pitcher Jake Peavy. The Sox held a $22 million option on the veteran right-hander as he was heading into free agency this winter. Under new management the Sox decided to keep the 31-year old in the rotation for the next two seasons at $14.5 million per year, with an option for 2015. Depending on innings pitched in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Peavy could potentially receive a $15 million option in 2015.
The Sox acquired Peavy from the San Diego Padres in July of 2009 in exchange for four pitchers. The 2012 season was Peavy’s first full healthy season since his arrival to the South Side. The 2007 National League Cy Young Winner made his third All-Star team this past year, with a 3.37 ERA in 32 starts and a record of 11-12. He also struck out 194 batters in 219 innings this season.
In a statement on www.MLB.com Jake Peavy said, “I’m really excited to come back to Chicago and build on what we did last year. I made no secret of the fact that this is where I want to play. Chicago is a great city with great fans, and I can’t think of a better place to try to win a championship. With the guys we have coming back, I think we have a great opportunity to accomplish some special things.”
The Sox also picked up a $9.5 million option on right-hander Gavin Floyd, who had a 4.29 ERA in 168 innings this season. He will join John Danks, Peavy and Jose Quintana in rounding out a solid rotation for the Sox in 2013. Although Hector Santiago showed signs of being a reliable starter in 2012, he may be relegated to a long relief role as the Sox appear to have its starting rotation set.
As expected, the Sox declined Kevin Youkilis’s $13 million team option and a $10 million option on Brett Myers with buyouts of $1 million and $3 million, respectively. Both are now free agents.
Youkilis will probably not be resigned with the Sox even though he had a great start mid-summer when he was traded from the Red Sox. His poor performance at the end of the season is one of the main reasons why the Sox declined his option. Since they are now without a healthy third-basemen in the lineup, it’s possible the Sox could still re-sign Youk in the near future.
A.J. Pierzynski also filed for free agency on Monday. Many hope the Sox will re-sign the veteran catcher since he is their veteran difference-maker. Pierzynski, who will be 36 next season, has emphasized that he would love to finish his career in Chicago. The Sox could promote backup catcher Tyler Flowers or they could sign a younger catcher. After Pierzynski’s career-high 27 home run, 77 RBI season, he may unfortunately be picked up fast by another team. If the Sox want to keep A.J. around they will need to make a decision quickly.
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