It took Rick Hahn four days on his new job to make a big splash. The White Sox general manager re-signed right-hander Jake Peavy to a two-year, $29 million extension and picked up the $9.5 milllion option on Gavin Floyd, solidifying the right-handed side of his rotation for 2013.
Peavy will receive $14.5 million in each of the next two seasons, with performance incentives that would extend his contract through 2015 for another $15 million. The $4-million buyout for Peavy’s $22 million club option for 2013 will be paid out over 2016-19 in equal installments, softening the payroll blow for next season and making the deal possible, Hahn said.
The bigger factor was Peavy’s desire to return. He has been saying that all along, and it turns out he meant it.
“Free agency wasn’t something I was interested in unless I had to be,” 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 and win a championship. With the guys we have coming back, I think we have a great opportunity to accomplish some special things.”
“Jake Peavy showed again last season why he is capable of being one of the top pitchers in the American League,” Hahn said in a statement. “Early on in this process, Jake expressed his strong desire to remain with the White Sox, and we’re happy to reach a deal that keeps him at the top end of our rotation and his influence in our clubhouse for at least the next two years.”
The 31-year-old former Cy Young winner went 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA over 219 innings and 194 strikeouts in 32 starts in 2012. He ranked among American League leaders in complete games (four), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.96), innings, average against (.234.) and ERA.
The Sox declined the 2013 options for right-hander Brett Myers ($10 million) and third baseman Kevin Youkilis ($13 million). Myers gets a $3 million buyout and Youkilis a $1 million buyout. The Sox hold exclusive negotiating rights to them through Friday, and Hahn said they are not out of the Sox picture. They will listen to what’s out there.
Floyd, 29, was 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 29 starts last season. He reached double figures in victories for the fifth consecutive season, joining Tampa Bay’s James Shields, Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Los Angeles’ Jered Weaver as the only AL pitchers to do so.