Monday marks the three-year anniversary of the White Sox's courtship of Jake Peavy. On May 21, 2009, a deal was agreed to with San Diego that would've sent a then-healthy Peavy to the South Side. But Peavy declined to waive his no-trade clause the first time, opting to stay in San Diego.
This summer, though, Peavy may not have a chance to decline a trade.
Peavy's contract stipulates he can block deals to eight teams. He doesn't want to leave Chicago, although he knows there's a chance he gets dealt if the White Sox fall out of playoff contention.
"I love being here, and this is the place I want to play," Peavy said after throwing 6 13 shutout innings against the Cubs on Sunday. "If I had it my way, this is where I'd play until I couldn't play no more. I love it, I love Robin and his staff, and I love my teammates. We'll see what happens. I certainly understand the game. I want to play in Chicago, that's for sure."
There's little, if any, chance Peavy would get dealt if the Sox were winning and competing in the division. That'll keep Peavy through the end of the season. But his future in Chicago beyond 2012 is dicey given his 22 million option and 4 million buyout for 2013.
That's where economics come into play. While Peavy isn't pleading with fans to come out to U.S. Cellular Field, he knows good attendance could help keep him around Chicago for at least one more season.
"I hope our fans get behind us and understand that we got a chance to compete in this division, and we showed that," Peavy said. "We haven't played our best baseball, but we're still hanging in there and beating some good teams and playing with the teams in our division. I hope our fans see that and want to come out and get involved. We certainly can feed off that energy.
"If we're going to stay together as a team and not have some of these pieces traded away, we're going to have to have some fan support, we're going to have to play some good baseball. It goes hand in hand. I certainly expect this weekend and next week too, hopefully our fans will feed off some of this momentum, and with school getting out and they'll show up at the ballpark."
One series that fans certainly will show up to is the second installment of the BP Crosstown Cup, to be played in late June. Fan support is traditionally at its highest when the Cubs and Sox meet. In the future, though, there's talk of the two teams only meeting three times a season.
"There's no way," Peavy bristled at cutting the series in half. "How do you take this rivalry away? This is awesome for the fans and for the city, it's a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun for us to play in. I certainly hope that wouldn't be the case. We need to play three at Wrigley, we need to play three at our place. That's just the way it is and the way I hope it stays."
Peavy's holding a raffle to raise money for cancer research in which a winner and three friends get suite tickets to all three games of the BP Crosstown Cup series at U.S. Cellular Field, get to watch batting practice from the field and get to go out for lunch with him.
"This is a good start," Peavy said. "This is something thats not easy to do, but at the same time I can get a little out of my way and change my routine a little bit to help my buddies and family battling these diseases that Im fighting with them as much as I can."
Peavy wants to do more, but when asked about future charity events in Chicago, he said he wasn't sure. He knows he might not be here come Aug. 1.
To Peavy's credit, he's done everything in his power to keep the White Sox afloat and stay in the city. He lowered his ERA to 2.39 with his start on Sunday, and the White Sox are 6-3 in his nine starts. But he's pitched well enough in eight of those nine outings for the White Sox to deserve a victory.
That's something that perhaps wouldn't have happened last year or in 2010 as Peavy battled injuries and ineffectiveness. While he's only about a third of the way into his season, Peavy has finally started to put things together and look like the ace the White Sox thought they were acquiring in 2009.
"It's the first time here being somewhat healthy and being able to compete and not worry about just getting on the field," Peavy explained. "Obviously, my time here hadn't been good. But I won some games here and there, just trying to be a good teammate through all the injuries and everything else. But it is nice to be able to feel like you're an integral part and help out."