Based on his own keen intuition, Mike Rutsey believes that the Jays will be in the running for Jake Peavy when he inevitably hits free agency this offseason when the ChiSox decline his $22 M option. The ChiSox are not the Rays and so I don’t understand why they’re reportedly set on declining that option. The $4 M buy-out makes it effectively $18 M which is not exactly chump change but is not outlandish for a former Cy Young-winner who seems healthy for the first time in years. Even if they planned on trading him mid-season, there’s a lot of value for an Ace-calibre pitcher before the stretch run if the ChiSox aren’t competitive next year. Considering teams are willing to eat years of sunk costs at the end of big free agent deals in order to sign players through their prime years, a half year of Peavy’s salary is not a heavy price to pay for the potential returns both on the field and in a trade.
However, if Peavy does indeed hit the open market as expected by Jon Heyman of CBS, then the Jays would likely inquire about the right-hander’s price. Considering there would be wide interest in the services of the second-best starter on the market after Zack Greinke, the Jays are likely a long shot at best to sign Peavy. On the bright side, the presence of Peavy and potentially Dan Haren on the free agent market if their options are declined coupled with speculation that the Rays will move James Shields should drive down the price of starters #2-#3s like Anibal Sanchez who’s recent start was scouted by the Jays.