White Sox GM expects Jake Peavy to begin 2011 on the DL

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Jake Peavy has said that he hopes to be healthy by Opening Day following July shoulder surgery, but yesterday general manager Ken Williams noted that he may not begin throwing again until January and indicated that he expects the former Cy Young winner to begin 2011 on the disabled list:

I’m preparing in my mind that this will be something that we take very slow and we’re very careful with, so that we can make sure we get a solid, healthy season out of him and not have him less than full strength and less than all he can be. I’m not looking at April in my mind, but he may surprise me.

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com quotes “a major-league source” who suggested that “it may be as late as June before Peavy is ready to return from an injury few baseball players have suffered,” which is a detached latissimus dorsi muscle under his right shoulder.

Peavy is under contract for $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013, so Williams and the White Sox have every reason to take a long-term approach to his recovery.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.