Jake Peavy is just starting to throw again as he comes back from a fractured rib, so it’s a moot point for now, but the White Sox right-hander made it very clear yesterday that he doesn’t want to be traded.
Chicago is in last place at 32-43, so the White Sox shopping various veterans would make sense if things don’t turn around in a hurry, but here’s what Peavy told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago:
I’ll just tell you that I don’t want that to happen, that I want to pitch here in Chicago and I want games I pitch in to be meaningful and for us to get back in the thick of things. Do I think that can happen? Absolutely. But we have to shore things up, take it day by day and win. I do understand the possibility of being moved if I am healthy or I’m not healthy. And that’s something that I leave up to the hands of Rick Hahn and his staff and I will do all I’m asked really.
If he can show that he’s healthy by the July 31 deadline Peavy would look awfully nice in a lot of contending rotations, but his being signed for next season at $14.5 million also complicates things. Peavy got off to a fantastic start, throwing 61 innings with a 2.97 ERA and 63/15 K/BB ratio through late May, but then he turned in back-to-back rough outings and suffered the rib injury. He’s due back shortly after the All-Star break.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.