Peavy, White Sox agree to $29 million, 2-year deal

Peavy, White Sox agree to $29 million, 2-year deal

CHICAGO (AP) Jake Peavy saw no need to test the free-agent market. So rather than shop himself, he is staying put in Chicago.

The veteran right-hander and the White Sox agreed Tuesday to a $29 million, two-year contract.

``I never wanted to play any games with my desire to stay with Chicago,'' Peavy said on a conference call Tuesday night. ``I was open and up front about that in hopes that it would work out. Today is a great day for me and my family and, I hope, for the White Sox, as well.''

Peavy will earn $14.5 million in each of the next two seasons. He would receive a $15 million option for 2015, depending on innings during the next two years.

Peavy's previous deal included a $22 million option for next season with a $4 million buyout. The buyout will be paid in equal installments from 2016-19.

Chicago also exercised a $9.5 million option on right-hander Gavin Floyd, declined a $10 million option on right-hander Brett Myers, and turned down a $13 million option on third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Myers gets a $3 million buyout, and Youkilis will receive one for $1 million.

Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, went 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA in 32 starts this year after three injury-riddled seasons. The White Sox defied most expectations, leading the AL Central for much of the season but ultimately finishing second behind Detroit.

Peavy realizes he would have been one of the more attractive players in free agency, and he might have been able to sign with a stronger team.

``We certainly knew those options were out there,'' he said. ``The loyalty, the way I feel about the White Sox organization, the way I feel my time has gone there - I just can't say enough about how strongly I feel about the city of Chicago, the fan base that stood behind me through a few rough years with injury. I certainly did all in my power to be where we are today, and that's returning to the place that I'm the happiest.''

General manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox made their initial offer to Peavy the Monday after the season ended, but negotiations really started heating up over the previous three days. Settling on two years was a big factor.

``The length was absolutely key for us, and being able to insulate ourselves against having a longterm deal - and the risk involved in any long-term deal, much less with a pitcher,'' Hahn said. ``Being able to do something on a shorter basis had a great deal of appeal to us. ... But the overarching drive to do this was to have Jake Peavy with us, and we were able to do it on terms that we found palatable. "

With Peavy and Chris Sale at the top, the White Sox believe they have a deep rotation. Floyd is a key part of that. He was 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 29 starts last season, his fifth straight year with double-digit wins.

They still have some issues to address, with A.J. Pierzynski on the market and a possible hole at third base. Hahn isn't ruling out bringing back Youkilis, who helped solidify the position after a trade from Boston in late June and batted .236 with 15 home runs in 80 games for Chicago.

He isn't closing the door, either, on Myers after he went 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 35 relief appearances with Chicago following a trade from Houston on July 21.

Hahn also said he doesn't plan on making qualifying offers to those three before Friday's deadline.

``They're going to hear from other clubs, likely receive offers and stay in touch with us,'' he said.

Keeping Peavy was a signal that the White Sox are serious about catching Detroit.

``I can't say we're going to be the favorites,'' Peavy said. ``At the end of the day, I don't think that matters to anybody in the clubhouse. I think you saw the attitude that (manager Robin Ventura) brought in. We didn't care what anybody else said about us. We knew who we were. I think the way that the season ended will do nothing but aid and fuel the fire.''

The fact that Peavy re-established himself as a top pitcher and made his third All-Star team went a long way a long way toward the White Sox contending.

He reached 200 innings for the fourth time in his career and the first since his Cy Young season with San Diego, finishing with 219. His 194 strikeouts were his most since 2007 when he had 240, and his four complete games were both a career high and the most by a White Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle threw five in 2004.

He also won a Gold Glove on Tuesday.

``Obviously, it's been a rough row to hoe early on for Jake in his tenure in a White Sox uniform,'' Hahn said. ``But given how hard he works to prepare himself, given how hard he works between starts, given the influence he had not just on the starters but on all the guys on our pitching staff, he's just been a tremendous clubhouse presence for us over the last three years. And over his last year, we've really seen the performance we think he's capable of doing going forward.''

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.


A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.


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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.