White Sox

Future is now for Jake Peavy

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Future is now for Jake Peavy

For the past three years, Jake Peavy had a lot of time to think about the future.

Prior to this season, he made just 39 appearances after a trade deadline deal brought the former Cy Young winner to Chicago in 2009.

But, that was then.

Peavy says hes fully recovered from from surgery to replace his right latissimus dorsi tendon that he tore completely off the bone in July of 2010.

His numbers through 12 starts prove it. He ranks in the Top 10 of the American League in wins, innings, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP. Never a numbers guy, Peavy is ecstatic hes showing the promise that came with him when he was acquired from San Diego.

Theres no doubt its been gratifying to come back and show the city and some of the fans that I can be good for this ballclub, Peavy told CSNChicago.com Saturday. Its been tough, being here and being hurt and battling through many different injuries. But its been a good year so far. The team is in a good position and Im in a good position health-wise.

Peavys 6-1 start is a big reason that the White Sox have been at or near the top of the AL Central all season. The team is 9-3 when Peavy pitches. While many publications had the White Sox losing 90-plus games, the right hander was confident the team had the pieces to contend for a division title.

We never bought into it. I know a lot of people wanted to talk about us finishing last in the division. We knew as individuals, myself, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, we had to pick up some of the slack. We knew if those things transpired, that wed be right here in the middle of things, which we are.

As for Peavys future beyond 2012, the Sox hold a 22 million team-option for next season and its a virtual lock that the White Sox will not pick it up. That means Peavy could be a free agent for the first time in his career, though hed love to call the Southside home for quite some time. I love the city of Chicago. Theres no better place to play than right here on the Southside, but thats something well cross and think about when we get there.

So, in the short term, Peavy and the White Sox are focused on what they can control. For Peavy, its taking the ball every fifth day, staying healthy and trying to push the White Sox into October baseball. Something that didnt come so easy in years past.

Im just honestly pouring my heart and soul to what I got going here in 2012. I want to be on a championship ballclub and push this team to get there, said Peavy.

The first 2 months of 2012 have looked nothing like the first 2 years of Peavys Southside tenure. If that holds up, Peavy just might get the chance to push the Sox into the postseason.

Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

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Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

The Cubs made the Jose Quintana deal knowing it would have been more difficult to give up Dylan Cease if he was already performing at the Double-A level, and that the White Sox organization would be a good place to continue his education as a young pitcher.

While Eloy Jimenez keeps drawing ridiculous comparisons – the running total now includes Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz – Cease is more than just the other name prospect from the deal that shocked the baseball world during the All-Star break.

“We still project him as a starter,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during this week’s GM meetings in Florida. “He certainly has the stuff where it’s easy to envision him as a potential dominant reliever. But to this point – for the foreseeable future – we deal with the starting and continue to develop him as a potential front-end arm.”

The Theo Epstein regime still hasn’t developed an impact homegrown pitcher, but that hasn’t stopped the Cubs from winning 292 games, six playoff rounds and a World Series title across the last three seasons, while still being in a strong position to win the National League Central again in 2018.

Without Quintana and his affordable contract that can run through 2020, Epstein’s front office might have been looking at the daunting possibility of trying to acquire three starting pitchers this winter.

While surveying a farm system in the middle of a natural downturn, Baseball America ranked seven pitchers on its top-10 list of prospects from the Cubs organization: Adbert Alzolay, Jose Albertos, Alex Lange, Oscar De La Cruz, Brendon Little, Thomas Hatch and Jen-Ho Tseng.

So far, only Alzolay, an Arizona Fall League Fall Star with seven starts for Double-A Tennessee on his resume, and Tseng, who made his big-league debut in September, have pitched above the A-ball level.

Cease – who went 0-8 with a 3.89 ERA for Class-A Kannapolis in his first nine starts in the White Sox system – has a 100-mph fastball and a big curveball and won’t turn 22 until next month. That stuff allowed Cease to pile up 126 strikeouts against 44 walks in 93.1 innings this year, putting him in the wave that includes Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

“Ideally, we have a lot of guys we project to be part of the future, very good, championship-caliber rotation,” Hahn said. “In an ideal world, there’s not going to be room at the inn for all of them. You only have five in that rotation and some of these guys will wind up in the bullpen. In reality, as players develop, you’re going to see some attrition.”

One spot after the White Sox grabbed Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Cubs did Kyle Schwarber’s below-slot deal, using part of the savings to buy out Cease’s commitment to Vanderbilt University ($1.5 million bonus for a sixth-rounder) and supervise his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Cease was never going to be on the fast track to Wrigley Field, and now the White Sox hope he can be part of the foundation on the South Side, where it’s easier to sell a rebuild after watching the Cubs and Houston Astros become World Series champions.

“It doesn’t change really for us internally in terms of our commitment or focus or our plan or our timeline or anything along those lines,” Hahn said. “I do think, perhaps, it helps the fan base understand a little bit about what the process looks like, where other teams have been and how long the path they took to get to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series (was). In Chicago, many fans saw it firsthand with the Cubs.

“There are certainly more and more examples in the game over the last several years to help sort of show fans the path and justification for what we’re (doing).”

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

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USA TODAY

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

The White Sox continued their rebuild Thursday by trading for an intriguing young right-handed pitcher.

The South Siders acquired Thyago Vieira from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.

The 24-year-old Vieira is a Brazilian native and has only made one appearance in the big leagues, striking out a batter in one perfect inning of work in 2017.

While his career minor-league numbers don't jump off the page — 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \— Vieira has been reportedly clocked at 104 mph with his fastball and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 8 prospect at the time of the deal. He also held righties to .194 batting average in 2017.

Here's video of Vieira throwing gas:

And this may explain why Vieira was even available:

Control has been an issue throughout his career, as he's walked 4.6 batters per nine innings in the minors. He has improved in that regard over the last few seasons, however, walking only 22 batters in 54 innings across three levels in 2017 and he doled out only one free pass in 5.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.

What does this deal mean in the big picture for baseball? How did the Sox pull off a move like this while not having to give up a player in return? 

This may help shed light on the situation from Baseball America's Kyle Glaser:

Either way, the White Sox may have just acquired a guy who could potentially throw his name in the hat for "future closer." Or at the very least, throw his name in the hat for "best name."