Jake Peavy feeling “run down” a year after shoulder surgery

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Jake Peavy bounced back from a six-run first inning yesterday to throw four scoreless frames, but his ERA ballooned to 5.17 and afterward he talked about feeling “run down” about 13 months removed from shoulder surgery.

Peavy, who has a 4.61 ERA in 232 innings since the White Sox acquired him from the Padres in mid-2009, explained his status to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago:

I feel fine it’s just my right arm. It’s just not back to how it always has been. I can’t wait to get to the winter. I talked to the doctors this morning. I’ve been going as hard as I could possibly go since August of last year with rehab and starting a throwing program. I’m run down. I’m ready to finish these last few starts strong and when the offseason does roll around to regroup and have a normal one.

“I feel fine it’s just my right arm” is one of the more amusing quotes I’ve ever seen from a pitcher and the White Sox can’t feel very confident in Peavy’s ability to reclaim ace status. He hasn’t been dominant since early 2009 and even then his raw numbers were helped an awful lot by pitching half his games at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. For his career Peavy has a 2.74 ERA in 90 starts at Petco Park and a 3.93 ERA in 159 starts everywhere else.

Peavy is owed $17 million next season and Chicago holds a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

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Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.