Jake Peavy hopes to be ready for Opening Day

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Jake Peavy hasn’t resumed throwing yet following July shoulder surgery, but told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he plans to play some “easy catch” for the first time next month with an eye toward throwing at full strength at some point in December.

His goal is to “not be behind at all when camp starts” next spring, but that’s far from a sure thing:

My goal is to be there and be there from the get-go and pull my weight, and we’ll work as hard as we can to make that a reality. Once the time is right, I believe I will be there. If I do have to miss a start or two at the beginning and can’t start the season with the boys, I can’t believe I would be much behind.

Peavy is owed $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013. He posted a 4.16 ERA in 20 starts for the White Sox prior to being shut down with shoulder problems, and the move from the NL and pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the AL and hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field made him a relative question mark even before the injury.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.