Jake Peavy continues to be pushed back

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Trading a couple of good prospects for Jake Peavy was one of those deals where you knew the White Sox were giving up something good, but that it was worth it to have an ace for the stretch run.  Too bad the ace doesn’t look like he’s going to make the stretch run any time soon:

After Jake Peavy unsuccessfully tried to play catch before a scheduled
bullpen session Wednesday, pitching coach Don Cooper suggested Peavy
might need another minor-league rehabilitation start instead of trying
to make his White Sox debut Saturday.

“My opinion, right now the best way to take care of Jake Peavy and do
the best for Jake Peavy is to continue to play it by ear, see what he
can do [Thursday], make one more start in the minor leagues,” Cooper
said shortly after Peavy cut short his attempt to get his sore right
elbow loose.

That “might” has turned into a definitely as the White Sox have confirmed that Peavy will make another rehab start tomorrow.  Normally that would make him eligible to pitch again on Thursday, but Thursday’s game is against the Cubs, and Kenny Williams has already said that Peavy won’t play in an NL game lest he have to run the bases and risk hurting his rehabbed leg.

The Sox play the Sox next Friday, so it’s going to be another week until he’s helping Chicago.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.