Floyd progressing, attracting interest from other teams

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/19/2013, 07:06pm

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Right-hander Gavin Floyd is pleased with the progress he’s made after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. But Floyd, a free agent who made 29 or more starts for the White Sox in his previous five seasons, hasn’t heard from the Sox since the end of the season and indications point to him signing elsewhere.

The Baltimore Orioles reportedly have made contact with the Maryland native’s agent, Mike Moye, and other teams willing to take a chance with an incentive-laden or one-year contract are likely to follow. Floyd said his throwing program is up to three sets at 180 feet, his endurance is building, and that he hopes to throw off a mound by early December.

“It’s coming along well and I feel like I’m getting stronger each time I throw,’’ Floyd said from Florida Tuesday.

Floyd, 31, made $9.5 million with the Sox last season. The Sox have more pressing needs than starting pitching, and they are likely to address those before they would consider bringing him back, even at a lower salary after he had surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament and torn flexor tendon in his elbow.

“Hopefully around spring training I can start throwing competitive innings,’’ Floyd said. “My arm strength should be there at that point. So far it’s going well. We’ll see. I’m very hopeful to be ready for spring and be ready for a season. I think that’s feasible the way things are progressing right now. I’m excited.’’

Pitchers often bounce back from Tommy John surgery as good as new. Some bounce back sooner than others.

“Everybody feels different,’’ Floyd said. “Billy Wagner and Joe Nathan all went off early [after surgery]. They showed strong progress of fast healing and were ready to go into competition in 10 or 11 months. We’ll see how it pans out. I’m excited to throw off a mound soon.”

Floyd said he and his family have enjoyed their time in Chicago and would consider coming back. That is, if the Sox were interested.

“I don’t know. I haven’t talked with them,’’ he said. “There has to be interest. I definitely haven’t ruled them out. I’ve been there a while and it’s been an awesome time. I also know it’s a business and they have their own goals and visions like any other team.

“It could be completely different team and city. I guess it’s exciting to see where I’m going to be at.’’