Peavy, A.J. among first decisions for Hahn

October, 26, 2012
10/26/12
4:32
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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Jake PeavyAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhIt's unlikely Jake Peavy will return to the Sox, considering the market for starting pitchers.
The first challenge awaiting new White Sox general manager Rick Hahn will be to decide on the fate of Jake Peavy, Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski and Brett Myers.

Hahn, who takes over the day-to-day operation from Ken Williams, will get his baseball budget in the next few days. The Sox payroll will be close to $100 million, according to sources. The 2012 payroll was $105 million.

The Sox will have their organizational meetings in Arizona on Nov. 3.

The club has a $2.2 million dollar option on Peavy and a $14 million option on Youkilis, which they likely will decline. Pierzynski and Myers also are free agents who the team must make decisions on.

Peavy will be one of the most highly sought after starting pitchers this offseason and may command a 3-4 year contract.

In the case of the 33-year-old Youkilis, his best days may be behind him, but a short term deal may benefit both parties.

Pierzynski is riding the wave of a career year with 27 home runs and 77 RBI. He will most likely get a longer term offer elsewhere.

“There aren’t a lot of free agent pitchers out there," Hahn said. "There is fair amount of money perhaps to be spent (by) other clubs, so that one is going to be a challenge. Pitchers get paid a significant amount. Jake -- given his track record and especially his 2012 season (with 31 starts and no health issues ) -- will be a pretty popular guy."

Hahn had interviewed for other GM jobs but was selective as to who he would work for and what impact the city would have on his family. He ended up staying where he wanted to be all along.

The 38-year-old Chicago area native will not allow sentiment to cloud his judgment when evaluating who to sign or acquire through the trade market.

"It is hard to separate the two," Hahn said. "Seeing Mark Buehrle leave last offseason ( was difficult ). We stand by it from a baseball standpoint, being able to maximize the effectiveness of our payroll. There of course is a sentimental side -- shoot, probably 3 or 4 of my favorite moments involved Mark Buehrle. There is an element you try to contain. When Paul Konerko handed Jerry (Reinsdorf ) that ball after he made the last out of the 2005 Series we knew he would be back. You do try to remove the sentimentality from it. That’s the job."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.30 29 27
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Viciedo .361
HRJ. Abreu 6
RBIJ. Abreu 19
RJ. Abreu 15
OPSA. Ramirez .953
ERAC. Sale 2.30
SOC. Sale 29