Peavy focused on next start, aware of speculation

Peavy focused on next start, aware of speculation

CHICAGO -- With Cubs right-hander Matt Garza traded to the Rangers on Monday evening, White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy appears to be the next starter on the clock for contending teams who need rotation help.

Peavy made his first start since June 4 on Saturday, allowing two earned runs over six innings in a victory over the Braves. His stuff showed no ill effects from the prolonged absence because of a fractured rib on his left side, but even without issuing a walk, his command was not exceptionally sharp.

Peavy threw a bullpen session on Monday to help find a better feel and pace, things he'll focus on leading into Thursday afternoon's start against the Tigers. As for trade speculation, Peavy hears reports and sees his name, but he is not concerned.

His two-year, $29 million deal, agreed upon with the White Sox around Halloween, did not include no-trade protection as Peavy had with the Padres. The truth of the matter is Peavy didn't want it with the White Sox.

"A trade didn't matter to me because if we were going to sit here talking about [a trade possibility], it meant we played the way we have played," said Peavy prior to Monday's series opener with the Tigers and after news of the Garza trade broke. "I didn't foresee that happening, but at the same time, it's about winning.

"As tough as it would be to be traded away from a city I love, from teammates, from friends in here and I made around the city, it would be awfully tough, but it would be for going to a chance to play in the postseason. So if I tell you about winning, then I have to be OK with that happening. I certainly will be, but it will be a sad, sad day."

Talk from Peavy makes it sound as if he somewhat expects to get traded. Maybe it's the large number of scouts watching him Saturday, who figure to be back on Thursday.

The Garza deal sort of set the bar, with three solid prospects coming back to the Cubs, and Peavy still is under contract for 2014, whereas Garza isn't. Moving the veteran could help the White Sox in the future, which was Peavy's plan when he stayed on the South Side and passed up free agency.

"Listen, I'll talk about it when you guys ask me questions about it," said Peavy of the possibility of being traded. "I'm not going to be caught off guard. I understand there's a possibility of me being moved.

"So you prepare yourself in life that could happen. But at the same time, I have to get ready to pitch against the Detroit Tigers. I have to be all in here and find a way to back Chris Sale tonight and be a good teammate and find a way for us to win today. It's just real black and white for me. That's the way I go about it."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.