Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy has 3.24 ERA and 16/1 K/BB ratio since returning from shoulder surgery

3 Comments

Jake Peavy missed the second half of last season following shoulder surgery and spent the first five weeks of this year on the disabled list as part of his recovery, but since rejoining the White Sox’s rotation on May 11 he’s 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts.

Even more impressive than the nice-looking 3.24 ERA is that Peavy has totaled 16 strikeouts in 25 innings while walking a grand total of one hitter (Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, on May 24).

Peavy’s current strikeout rate would be a career-low by a wide margin and his velocity is down somewhat, as he’s averaged 91.1 miles per hour with his fastball compared to 92-93 mph during his peak with the Padres.

On the other hand he remains far from a soft-tosser, racking up eight strikeouts in his shutout of the Indians on May 18, and the fact that his control has been so good after going 10 months between starts because of major shoulder surgery is remarkable.

Moving from the NL to the AL and from the majors’ most extreme pitcher-friendly ballpark to a home that boosts power means Peavy was never a good bet to replicate his outstanding raw numbers from San Diego even before the injury, but through 24 starts in Chicago he has a 3.97 ERA and 127/41 K/BB ratio and the White Sox have to be very encouraged by how he’s looked post-surgery.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
10 Comments

The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
9 Comments

The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.