If the White Sox had a new 2012 opening day, meaning if they were to start their number one starter, it would clearly be Peavy. John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Phil Humber would pitch in some order after Peavy, who is the legitimate ace of the staff. He is 4-1, 1.89 in 7 starts. He has pitched 52 1/3 innings this year, which means he is averaging over 7 1/3 IP each start! His WHIP is at a solid 0.803 and his 44 K and 7 BB translate into a 6.29 K/BB ratio, which is tops in the AL. In 2007, he was 19-6, 2.54, leading the league in ERA, WHIP (1.061), Ks (240), and Ks per 9 IP (9.7). Unfortunately that was the last time he came any way near his starts (34) and IP (223 1/3).
The question is, do the White Sox want to hold on to Peavy, or will he be trade bait come June or July? The latter is the best posibility as GM Ken Williams is desperate to shred some payroll and he would like to get out of paying Peavy's $22 million option for 2013 or the $4 million buyout. It also provides the White Sox an opportunity to upgrade their farm system, which has taken a negative hit over the past couple of seasons.
Of course there are the normal players when it would come to trading Peavy. The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays could use Peavy on their staff. The Tigers, though they may be apprehensive to trade within their own division, would be interested along with the Cardinals. Perhaps if teams like the Orioles and Mets keep up their early success, maybe they could be players. The level of interest is expected to be high, and it should be even higher being the two extra postseason spots up for grabs. And hell, it could convince the White Sox that they are close enough to pursue the pennant race and keep Peavy altogether.
While the Yankees are leaning on the return of Andy Pettitte and another team will sign free agent Roy Oswalt, other teams will be looking at Cubs starters Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster. Could Felix Hernandez be pryed away from the Mariners? The answer is always no, but somebody will write a story about it anyway. Assuming Peavy is healthy, and there is no reason to assume he isn't, he could provide the biggest impact on a team's rotation. Perhaps even more than the before mentioned. He has postseason experience, though he struggled in single starts in 2005 and 2006. I predict there will be a series of teams making trade proposals to the White Sox for the services of once again ace RHP Jake Peavy.