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.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.