White Sox might shut down Peavy for 2009

The White Sox are considering shutting down Jake Peavy for the rest of the 2009 season at the risk of further injuring his elbow.

From the Chicago Tribune:

“Believe me, if we fall more and I don’t think deep inside my heart and my guts that we have a chance, I will tell [general manager Ken Williams and pitching coach Don Cooper] to just shut him down and wait for next year,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I am honest with myself. It’s funny, because you can tell the fans anything you want. But when you go to sleep and think about how good you are or how bad you are, you’re not lying.”

Time could be against Peavy because the minor-league regular season ends Monday. Double-A Birmingham will advance to the playoffs, so that could be Peavy’s option if he recovers in time to pitch in a minor-league game.

Even though it would be disheartening for fans to see the White Sox’s new toy shut down without making his Chicago debut in ’09, it would be the right move. The Chi Sox are currently 7 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central and it isn’t worth risking injury to Peavy when he’d only pitch in three or four games anyway.

Shut it down.

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Peavy to pitch this season after all?

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jake Peavy threw a bullpen session over the weekend at Citi Field and said he didn’t feel any pain. He’s been out since June 9 following ankle surgery.

”The biggest thing was everything was pain-free,” Peavy said. ”The ankle was a non-issue. I threw about 50 pitches and threw all my pitches, trying to get a feel to accelerate this thing as fast as we can to get back out there. Once again, you have to be smart about it. It was a good day.

A couple of weeks ago it was reported that Peavy might not be able to pitch again this season. But just based on this report, it appears that he could rehab and come back within the next three to four weeks.

The Sox are in a tight race with the Tigers and Twins in the AL Central and could certainly use the boost from Peavy if he can get healthy.

Is the clock ticking for Cubs to acquire Peavy?

If the Cubs are interested in acquiring ace Jake Peavy from the Padres, the clock could be ticking on the opportunity.

Peavy said he would waive his no-trade option to join either the Cubs or Dodgers, but San Diego seemingly doesn’t want to deal the ace to someone in their division, so that would leave Chicago as their best trade partner at this point, unless another team emerges (Milwaukee?) in the upcoming days/weeks.

But according to Daily Herald’s Barry Rozner, if the Padres can’t move Peavy’s contract off their books soon, then they might begin “offloading salaries” and if they do that, then they might as well just keep their top pitcher.

The Cubs and Peavy seem like an excellent match, but as I recently wrote in my latest column, if Chicago is going to trade for anything right now it would probably be another bat. Milton Bradley has been dismal, Aramis Ramirez is on the DL and Derrek Lee has been as inconsistent as ever.

The Cubs’ starters on the other hand, have been solid. Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster have pitched well, Carlos Zambrano just got off the DL and Randy Wells has been a pleasant surprised as a fill-in for injured starters.

So why give up prospects to add Peavy to a rotation that’s already good enough to win? The timing is off for the Cubs, which means in the end they could inevitably pass on the opportunity to trade for Peavy.

Top five landing spots for Jake Peavy

The White Sox thought they had added an ace last week when they worked out a deal with the Padres that would have sent (among others) their top two pitching prospects – Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda – to San Diego in exchange for starting pitcher Jake Peavy. But with his desire to stay in the National League at the forefront of his decision, Peavy exercised his no-trade option and nixed the deal before it was completed.

Now that that deal has been squashed, where will Peavy wind up when the curtain closes on the 2009 baseball season? Or will he even be traded at all?

I’ve ranked the top 5 landing spots for Peavy and why each club will and won’t land the San Diego ace.

1. Milwaukee Brewers
Why they’ll land Peavy: If the Cubs’ offense continues to struggle, then Chicago will more than likely trade for a bat instead of adding another arm to its starting rotation. With the Cubs seemingly focused on their offense, a path could clear for the Brewers to make the Padres an offer for Peavy. Don’t forget that the Brewers surprised a lot of baseball pundits who believed they would never trade top prospect Matt LaPorta for ace CC Sabathia last season, but Milwaukee did just that. So while the Brewers don’t have the young pitching prospects that San Diego might covet, they certainly have a ton of young position talent that they could offer to pull off a deal. Plus, even though they lost Sabathia to free agency in 2009, Peavy would be under contract through the 2013 season, so at least the Brewers wouldn’t have to worry about giving up more top prospects for a pitcher that’ll walk again at the end of the year.
Why they won’t: After almost acquiring the White Sox’s top two pitching prospects, indications are that San Diego is looking for young arms in exchange for Peavy – which Milwaukee simply doesn’t have. The Brewers have a slew of young position talent, but outside of Jeremy Jeffress they don’t have many top arms in their farm system. If the Padres have their heart set on acquiring starting pitching, they’ll have to look elsewhere, because the Brewers just don’t have enough to make a worthwhile offer. Plus, a small market team like Milwaukee might eventually be scared away by the $63 million ($11 million is still owed to him in 2009) that remains on Peavy’s contract.

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Padres’ Peavy could be traded to White Sox

According to a report by the San Diego Union Tribune, a trade between the Padres and White Sox involving ace Jake Peavy could be imminent. The roadblocks appear to be whether or not Peavy would waive his no-trade clause and whether or not he wants to play for manager Ozzie Guillen, which apparently he has reservations about.

The question becomes: whom would the Sox have to give up in order to acquire Peavy? The Padres need middle infielders, so Chris Getz and Brent Lillibridge could be involved in the talks, but hopefully for White Sox fans, top shortstop prospect Gordon Beckham isn’t.

If San Diego has its sights set on pitching (which is certainly a possibility given the division and park it plays in), Chicago might be willing to part with Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard, although more mid-to-low-level prospects would likely have to be included as well.

If they were able to swing a deal, the Chi-Sox rotation would look incredibly strong with Peavy, Mark Buerhle, Gavin Floyd and John Danks leading the way. And considering they’re only 5.5 games back in the AL Central and we haven’t even reached the All-Star Break yet, a trade like this could sling them right back into contention.

Another thing to keep an eye on is whether or not this wakes up the other team in Chicago. The Cubs are in win-now mode, but thanks to injuries and inconsistent play, they find themselves currently three games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Ace Carlos Zambrano is currently on the DL and how long before Rich Harden pays his old friend a visit, too? If Peavy doesn’t waive his no-trade clause to join the White Sox, maybe the Cubs will re-enter trade talks with the Padres.

Update: The two teams have agreed on a deal, but Peavy has to sign off on it because of his no-trade clause.

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