Although I am not a fly on the wall, and none of us knows for certain how things play out behind closed doors, the White Sox appear to have engaged in the must unbelievable public leveraging in recent memory.
After Jake Peavy hurried back from a rib injury so that he could make a few starts before the Trade Deadline, everyone understood that now he was going to be traded. Even Peavy understood it to be true, reportedly bringing suitcases with him on Sunday to pack up his stuff.
It’s a weak market, and the White Sox look to be on the precipice of a deep decline whether they rebuild or not. Selling Peavy for the best return they can get is a no-brainer.
Except then GM Rick Hahn said the White Sox might not move Peavy, and reports surfaced that the White Sox were telling other teams that they planned to keep Peavy and “build around him.” Everyone everywhere totally believed it, White Sox.
And now, this morning, Mark Gonzales reports that the White Sox are expected to promote Andre Rienzo to pitch in Peavy’s place tonight, whether Peavy is dealt by then or not. So, the White Sox plan to keep Peavy and build around him, but they’re going to sit him tonight just in case?
I think it’s pretty safe to say that the White Sox simply didn’t like the offers they were getting for Peavy – 32, and making $14.5 million each of this and next year, with a $15 million vesting player option (probably won’t vest, but could) for 2015 – and tried to do a little dance. Now that they’re up against his next start, they appear to be revealing that, yeah, Peavy’s likely to be dealt before the Deadline.
I’d expect Peavy to be on the move by tomorrow’s Trade Deadline, making him the best starting pitcher on the market right now, unless the Phillies become a little more flexible on their Cliff Lee demands. The Cubs could conceivably still be shopping Carlos Villanueva as a starter, so there might be fringe impact there. There was always a chance that, if neither Peavy nor Lee were available, a team would get desperate and try to blow the Cubs away on Jeff Samardzija, but that still looks very unlikely, regardless of this Peavy stuff.