Hahn, just five days into his new position, sent a clear message to Sox fans that “we are going for it” with his decision to sign Peavy and pick up the $9.5 million option on Gavin Floyd for 2013.
Sensing a weak free agent market for starting pitching, the Sox chose to be proactive with Peavy and his new agent, Jeff Barry. Barry has a long history of getting pitchers signed in Chicago, just one year removed from having negotiated a five-year, $65 million contract for John Danks. (Danks’ deal is the longest term and most money of any contract for a Sox pitcher.) Barry also represents former Sox icon Mark Buehrle.
There are certainly risks involved in giving Peavy a two-year deal. The 2012 season was his first healthy season since 2007 and any scout will tell you that Peavy’s delivery makes him vulnerable to injury on every pitch. All that said, the marketplace would likely have presented Peavy with three-year offers at around $45 million. Peavy, to his credit, chose loyalty to his teammates and the organization over the money.
“I love what we have and what we are building in Chicago,” Peavy said. “We care about each other. We have fun on and off the field. That (feeling) truly translates on the field in wins and losses. I believe that with all my heart.”
Floyd will give the Sox the luxury of a solid veteran starter who will be insurance for Danks returning from shoulder surgery this spring. Floyd also protects the team against a second-year flop from any of the good looking young Sox starters who pitched so well last season.
This year’s playoffs and World Series were a reminder to all that good pitching will always beat good hitting when a baseball championship is on the line. The Tigers’ staff made the Yankees look foolish and the Giants’ pitchers did the same to Detroit.
Hahn and Williams will continue to tweak the pitching staff, knowing their team lost the division series to the Tigers, going a staggering 6-12 in the head-to-head matchup. And to stay afloat in the Central Division is to outpitch the competition.
“We had as much talent as any of those teams,” said Peavy in reference to the World Series competitors. “The Tigers are a great team. They are adding a guy named Victor Martinez (Hurt in 2012 after 100 RBIs in 2011). We have to do a better job of beating those guys and Kansas City. We believe we can play with anybody in baseball.”