White Sox sign Jake Peavy to $29 million contract, decline Kevin Youkilis’ option

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The White Sox’s 2013 rotation is set to look a whole lot like the 2012 group after all. The team today re-signed Jake Peavy to a tw0-year, $29 million deal and picked up Gavin Floyd’s $9.5 million option for 2013.

The team also announced that it had declined Kevin Youkilis’ $13 million option and Brett Myers’ $10 million option for next year.

Peavy will make $14.5 million each of the next two seasons, which amounts to a paycut from the three-year, $52 million contract he was on. That deal included a $22 million option for 2013 with a $4 million buyout. Peavy will receive the $4 million buyout in addition to his new contract. His deal also includes a $15 million player option for 2015 that he’ll be able to pick up if he reaches certain marks the next two years.

Peavy went 11-12 and finished ninth in the AL with a 3.37 ERA last season. It was the first time he had made even 20 starts since 2008, so the White Sox are taking quite a chance in re-signing him. Still, many figured he’d get a three-year deal this winter on the open market.

Floyd’s return isn’t something a lot of people would have anticipated a few months ago, but he did have a strong finish on his way to going 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in 29 starts for the season. It’s possible the team could still trade him this winter. If he sticks, then the White Sox would seem to be set with a rotation of Chris Sale, Peavy, John Danks, Floyd and Jose Quintana.

The White Sox figure to have some interest in re-signing Youkilis, who hit .236/.346/.425 with 15 homers and 46 RBI in 80 games after coming over from the Red Sox. However, since he is the top third baseman available in free agency, there will be plenty of demand for his services. A two-year deal seems likely.

Myers had a 3.12 ERA in 34 2/3 innings as a setup man following a trade from the Astros. He’ll probably go search for a closer gig elsewhere.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.