If the White Sox are unable to recover from this dreadful tailspin, seven losses in a row in which they have scored a total of 11 runs, general manager Rick Hahn will be forced to make changes.
He’ll start selling off his tradeable parts and his biggest chip in the game will be a former Cy Young Award pitcher who would prefer to retire as a member of the White Sox, but might not get his wish.
“I obviously played more years in San Diego, but I feel that I’m a Chicago White Sock, and I want to be known as that until the day I die,” Jake Peavy said in a CSN interview. “I love, love our fan base. I love the blue-collar attitude and just the persona we have, because that’s who I am, that’s the way I was raised. I feel honored to put on that uniform.”
But if the White Sox can’t pull themselves out of this deepening hole, Peavy, who doesn’t have a no-trade clause, will likely be wearing a different uniform by the trade deadline.
He’s accepted that reality and is prepared to go elsewhere if the White Sox make a deal.
“If we’re not in it, I have no problems being moved to a team who is in contention and trying to win a World Series, so I’ll go play anywhere,” Peavy said. “If it comes down to having and feeling like it’s best for them to move me, I’ll go play anywhere that feels like they have a chance. If a team’s going to trade for you, they feel like they have a chance and they’re trying to make the necessary moves. But at the end of the day, we hope and we pray that doesn’t happen.”
When Peavy’s contract expired at the end of last season, he could have tested the free-agent market and played just about anywhere and likely for more money. However, before the market opened he re-upped with the White Sox, signing a two-year, $29 million contract that also includes a team option for 2015.
Almost three years removed from major experimental surgery to repair a detached latissimus dorsi muscle near his right shoulder, Peavy is having his second straight comeback season. He’s 6-3 with a 3.62 ERA, and is on pace for 18 wins and 194 strikeouts. For a contending team in need of starting pitching, obtaining a veteran and competitor like Peavy with $14.5 million remaining on his contract for next season might be difficult to pass up.
And for a White Sox team that has holes to fill, Peavy might be the guy who could give Hahn the biggest return.
“I think we all have to be realistic in life and it’s as real as any scenario that we’ve ever faced,” Peavy said about the possibility of being dealt. “It’s just the business of the game. You pay players and you have players in place to try to win a division, get in the playoffs, to win a world championship and when that doesn’t go as planned, things have to happen and the organization has to sit down and look at what’s best for the organization. Is it best to keep players who make a nice salary on a team that’s not destined to do anything, or is it best to move them and get some prospects in return and shed some money? If it does and we don't play well and don't have a realistic chance to win the division, I'm sure that bridge will be crossed and I'll do anything the White Sox ask me to do at that point in time."
Peavy made these comments during a taping of "Inside Look: Jake Peavy" which premiered Tuesday night on CSN.
Peavy can do his part to end the White Sox losing streak and possibly turn this season around. But there’s only so much one pitcher can do.
The Sox need to hit, or else the next hits you'll see will be coming from the front office.