Jake Peavy

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.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.