White Sox bring back Floyd; Myers, Youkilis options declined

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White Sox bring back Floyd; Myers, Youkilis options declined

The White Sox 2013 rotation was bolstered significantly on Tuesday when the club not only signed Jake Peavy but also picked up Gavin Floyds option.

The team chose to exercise its 9.5 million option and bring back Floyd. At the same time, the White Sox declined their club options for third baseman Kevin Youkilis (13 million) and reliever Brett Myers (10 million) and bought them out for 1 million and 3 million, respectively.

Floyd went 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in 29 starts for the White Sox this season.

The dependability offered by Floyd and Peavy, who made a team-high 32 starts in 2012, is needed with 2012 opening-day starter John Danks rehabbing from season-ending surgery.

It gives us some very good depth and allows us to explore other opportunities over the next few months, general manager Rick Hahn said. Absolutely wed prefer to have more depth. Its nice to have some options going forward its nice to be able to insulate yourself.

Hahn said Floyd alleviated concerns about his health when he returned in September from a second stint on the disabled list. After making an adjustment to his delivery, Floyd went 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA over his final five starts of the season.

He is 63-61 with a 4.20 ERA since he first joined the White Sox in 2007 and has averaged 31 starts from 2008-12.

I realize at times hes been a little up and down, Hahn said. But I hope the value (Floyd) brings doesnt go unnoticed. He gives you 180-190 above-average innings in a difficult park to pitch in.

Peavy said hes excited about the prospect of a rotation featuring himself and Floyd, though he wasnt certain it would happen.

I cant say enough about that, Peavy said. I didnt know how that would work out. Gavin is tremendously talented and you saw how he threw the ball down the stretch. I love our starting rotation, I really do. I love what we have and what were building in Chicago.

Hahn said he has expressed interest to the agents for Youkilis and Myers, though he understands both players will test the free agent waters.

An acquisition from the Boston Red Sox in late June, Youkilis hit .236 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 80 games for the White Sox.

Myers was acquired from the Houston Astros in late July and went 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 35 games for the Sox. The club opted to buy out the 10 million option it held for Myers for 3 million.

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Quintana and Miguel Gonzalez looked like a pair of pitchers who began their offseasons earlier to prep for the World Baseball Classic.

Both White Sox starting pitchers looked sharp as they made their spring debuts in a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch on Sunday afternoon. Team USA relievers David Robertson and Nate Jones also pitched a scoreless inning each in the win. Prospect Zack Burdi also pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Gonzalez, who is on the Team Mexico roster, only allowed a single on a dropped pop up on the infield in two scoreless innings.

“I’m a little ahead of the game right now,” Gonzalez said. “I started a little earlier this year in the offseason to work out, thinking I wanted to go to the WBC and get ready for that. But I think the most important thing right now is getting ready for April 1 with the White Sox. That’s my goal, and you don’t get these opportunities every year. To represent Mexico, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be great.”

Quintana, who will start for Colombia in their March 10 opener against the United States, allowed a run and a hit in two innings. He struck out one and hit a batter.

“I feel good,” Quintana said. “I think for the first day I feel comfortable. I hit the glove. I feel good. A couple of pitches spinning were good and I feel really good.”

[RELATED: Jim Thome on being a finalist for National Baseball Hall of Fame]

Robertson is throwing much earlier than normal in anticipation of his March 6 departure for Miami, where Team USA begins its tournament. The club’s closer normally wouldn’t appear in a game until the calendar turns to March. Robertson said he usually only needs 5-6 spring outings to get in shape for the regular season. Though he felt a little rusty, the right-hander was pleased with several changeups and fastballs he threw.

“I wouldn’t say it was smooth but I got through it,” Robertson said. “I had a few bad pitches that were just not competitive. … All in all I got through what seemed like a tough inning for a first outing.

“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to go down there and put the ‘USA’ across my chest and have a chance to win something for our country. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m excited to play with a group of guys I’ve been playing against my whole life.”

Eddie Alvarez had a three-run double for the White Sox while Tyler Saladino collected two hits in three trips. Catcher Roberto Pena went 2-for-2 with an RBI. 

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Normally upbeat and positive, Jim Thome can’t help but beam with pride when asked about his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Thome, who blasted 612 career home runs, including 134 with the White Sox, is eligible for induction for the first time in 2018. Even though he’s expected by many to one day be voted into Cooperstown, perhaps even in his first year, Thome said he’s merely honored to be on the ballot. Thome is joined on the ballot by Chipper Jones and former teammate Omar Vizquel, among others. Voting begins in December and the results will be announced next January.

“To even be on the ballot and thought of, it would be the greatest honor I think you could get,” Thome said. “Or if you get an opportunity to go into the greatest fraternity baseball has or created, it would be indescribable. How do you ever think as a kid or a high school player or even going through the minor leagues, that you’d play at the big leagues that long? And then to get an opportunity at the end of your career to be put on the ballot is so great.

“That would be the coolest moment ever.”

Thome – who is in White Sox camp as a special assistant to the general manager – provided plenty of big moments in a career that spanned 22 seasons. He hit 30 home runs in 12 of 13 seasons between 1996-2008, leading the league with 47 in 2003. The slugger was a five-time All-Star and produced 72.9 b-Wins Above Replacement.

[RELATED: Brett Lawrie trying to clear final hurdles]

Thome isn’t as superstitious about his candidacy as others previously have been. He won’t be the guy to bring up the topic, but the Peoria, Ill.-native doesn’t shy away from discussing it, either.

“It’s not something you talk a lot about,” Thome said. “We’re not going to bring it up. But when people do bring it up, there’s a sense of pride, a sense of ‘Wow, baseball has thought that highly to put you on the ballot.’ And the fact that there’s just this wonderful fraternity of incredible players that you could be a part of, if you’re chosen.”