The Chicago White Sox and starting pitcher Jake Peavy have agreed on a two year contract exgension that will pay the right-hander a guaranteed $29 million. The deal also includes a club option for a third year that becomes a player option if Peavy attains a certain amount of innings pitched over the next two seasons. He will also receive the $4 million buyout from his previous deal, in place of the $22 million that the team would’ve had to pay him for 2013 if they picked up the original club option.
It’s a good deal for both the pitcher and the team. The 31-year-old is coming off his best season since 2007, and even though the velocity on his fastball has shown a steady decrease due to aging and health issues, Peavy has adapted his repertoire to include a two-seamer and a cutter that he throws along with a regular four-seam fastball, as well as a slider, curve and change. He’s effective at mixing his pitches, and was a big reason why the White Sox managed to play meaningful baseball games late in the season.
Chicago has recently made some front office changes with the promotions of Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn to President and General Manager, respectively. The tandem should continue to find success with low-risk contracts of shorter terms, like this one. They deal quite obviously considers Peavy’s performance over the last few seasons, and projects him fairly as a three wins above replacement pitcher when he’s healthy.
If he becomes injured over the next two years, the shorter terms of the deal ensure that the dollars owed to Peavy are never too dangerous.