CLEVELAND — Jake Peavy is prepared to make his next start — for the White Sox or anyone else.
Chicago’s coveted right-hander could be traded before Wednesday’s deadline, and said he’s eager for the next few days to pass as quickly as possible.
“I’ll be happy when Wednesday is here and there’s no more speculation,” Peavy said before the White Sox opened a four-game series at Cleveland on Monday. “I know there’s a good chance I could possibly start and there’s a good chance I won’t start. I don’t know what else to say.”
Peavy, who is slated to start on Tuesday, has felt this anxiety before. He was traded by San Diego to the White Sox at the deadline in 2009, but that experience doesn’t make this time any less tense.
“It is crazy and hectic but it’s what we do,” said Peavy, 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 games this season. “We’ve seen this happen year in and year out with everybody. I certainly in no way feel sorry for myself. “
Boston and Oakland have reportedly checked in with the White Sox about Peavy, a Cy Young Award winner with the Padres in 2007 whose tenure with Chicago has not gone as well as he or the White Sox hoped. He’s been on the disabled list four times, including this season with a broken rib.
Peavy is prepared in case the last-place White Sox, who had lost nine of 12 heading into the series opener with Cleveland, are able to finalize a deal. He brought extra luggage with him for the seven-game road trip in case he has to pack everything in his locker.
“There are a lot of things in your personal life that hang on this decision, and where you go,” Peavy said. “There a lot more that goes into it than people realize. I have all kind of bags packed. You’re not sure where you’ll be the next day or in the next 24 hours of your life.”
With the deadline looming, the White Sox completed a deal on Monday, sending injured reliever Jesse Crain and cash to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for players to be named or cash. Crain has been on the disabled list with a shoulder strain since July 3, but the Rays are counting on him coming back and helping them during the playoff push.
Peavy said he would not be surprised if any deal he might be involved in went down to the last minute. First-year general manager Rick Hahn has kept the 32-year-old abreast of talks, and Peavy said the two last spoke on Sunday.
“I’m here and except to go out and, unless I hear anything, pitch against Cleveland tomorrow,” Peavy said. “Obviously, there’s stuff being talked about. The coaches and general manager have kept me up to date. As a professional, I’ve got to be ready for the Cleveland Indians tomorrow. I will be. I expect to win. I hear a lot. All I can do as a player is get ready to do what I know is scheduled for me to do and that’s pitch tomorrow night.”
Peavy is under contract through next season, when he’s scheduled to make $14.5 million. He holds an incentive-laden player option for 2015.
Hahn said there’s no rush in trading a player under the team’s control, and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and vice president Kenny Williams are not pressuring him to dump salaries.
“I will say not related to Jake specifically but with any player who’s under contract for future seasons, there certainly is no urgency to make a deal now,” Hahn said on a conference call. “I am not under any marching orders from Jerry or Kenny to cull payroll at this time. It’s more about doing what’s the best baseball deal. Now when you have a situation like Jesse’s, where he’s a free agent at the end of the year or Matt Thornton, who is likely headed to free agency, the urgency to do something prior to the deadline obviously is a little bit greater.
“But for guys with control into 2014 and beyond, when we make a move or not it’s going to be based upon the talent exchange and whether that makes us better into the future.”
The White Sox traded Thornton to Boston on July 12.
Manager Robin Ventura is assuming he’ll be writing Peavy’s name on the lineup card Tuesday.
“Right now he’s starting,” Ventura said. “I’m going as is until I get told otherwise. That’s the way I look at it.”
Ventura and Hahn have discussed a contingency plan if Peavy is traded prior to Tuesday’s game.
“We’re not going to get caught short, I know that,” Ventura said. “That’s been talked about, just making sure we’re covered in case any of these things come up.”