CHICAGO -- If Jake Peavy had his choice, the veteran right-hander would continue his Major League career with the White Sox in 2013 and beyond.
He is healthy and has enjoyed playing for Robin Ventura and his staff during the team's run toward the 2012 postseason. The White Sox hold a $22 million club option for 2013, which almost certainly won't be picked up, meaning their $4 million buyout could be the starting point for a multi-year extension.
But with the White Sox fighting for their playoff life with every pitch, let alone every game, Peavy's future employment is not exactly foremost on anyone's mind in the present.
"We are so focused in here right now and just trying to be the best we can as a team, that I haven't thought about it," Peavy said. "I certainly will cross that bridge when we get there and hopefully we can work things out.
"I've made it very clear that I love this place and I would love to be part of the future plans. We'll leave it at that. I can promise you there's no thought on this end at all -- and there shouldn't be -- and on their end either, I'm sure."
Peavy, 31, has put together the most successful season of the four he has pitched with the White Sox, which also just happens to be his only healthy effort. His 211 innings pitched rank fifth among AL starters, and while his record sits at just 11-12, that number or his 186 strikeouts aren't what matters.
The proudest accomplishment for Peavy simply has been taking the baseball every five days and serving as a starting pitcher who can be relied upon by Ventura. Injuries prevented that from happening during the past three years.
"That means more to me than earned runs, wins and losses, this and that," said Peavy of his 31 starts, with one more possibly coming next week in Cleveland. "I wanted to be the guy that takes the ball and is a veteran leader, and honestly, that's the biggest thing for me.
"If you are out there regularly, it means you are healthy enough to be out there. When I'm healthy, I feel like I can give us a chance to compete. So, it kind of goes hand and hand. It's not fun being out there and being hurt and trying to figure out a way.
"At the same time, it hurts just as bad sitting there on the side and not being able to participate. It was a frustrating few years. But I'm so happy it's behind me now. I look forward to whatever the future may hold."