The Chicago White Sox were busy on Tuesday, as they made several big personnel moves. They exercised the option on pitcher Gavin Floyd, while declining those on Kevin Youkilis and Brett Myers. But the big news came as they signed starting pitcher Jake Peavy to a two-year, $29 million extension.
The 31-year-old Peavy finished the 2012 season with and 11-12 record, a 3.37 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 219 innings. He also racked up 194 strikeouts in his 32 starts.
The new extension will pay Peavy $14.5 million in both 2013 and 2014. If he reaches certain innings thresholds in both seasons he can elect to extend the contract to include the 2015 season at a salary of $15 million. He will also receive his previously agreed upon buyout settlement under the terms of his last contract in equal installments between 2016-19.
The Sox just committed $29 million to an oft-injured starter, who hasn’t been on the hill much over the course of his three-plus seasons in Chicago. In fact, he had never thrown more than 111.2 innings with the White Sox until this season.
That said, Peavy was excellent in 2012. He was one of the best pitchers in the American League this season. The Alabama native finished third in quality starts (23), tied for third in complete games (four), fourth in strikeout-to-walk ration (3.96), fifth in innings pitched, eighth in strikeouts, fifth in opponents batting average (.234), ninth in ERA and tied for 10th in starts.
That’s a pretty great season, but that’s a lot of money to give a guy in his 30’s who has had arm and back troubles. The White Sox have never been shy about throwing cash around, but this one could come back to bite them in a year or two.
That said, Peavy can certainly be worth the risk if he stays healthy.