With Matt Garza now on the Rangers, Jake Peavy has emerged as one of the most popular starting pitchers on the trade block in recent days. However, the White Sox are apparently having second thoughts about dealing him.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the White Sox are now telling teams that they will keep Peavy and “build around him.” There’s always the chance that they’ll do exactly that, but this sounds like a strategy designed to get someone to increase their offer. Peavy is 32 years old and has had some injury issues in recent years, so that’s not exactly a combination you want to build around.
For what it’s worth, Joel Sherman of the New York Post was told by one executive of a team interested in Peavy that the veteran right-hander wants to be dealt. While the source says Peavy has enjoyed his time with the White Sox, he senses the club is rebuilding and wants to pitch for a contender.
Peavy, who recently returned from a rib fracture, owns a 4.28 ERA and 76/17 K/BB ratio in 80 innings over 13 starts this season. He is under contract for $14.5 million next season.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.