The Chicago White Sox will address the issue of their would-be free agents by this Wednesday.
The team must decide whether to pick up the options on right-handers Jake Peavy, Brett Myers, and Gavin Floyd and third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, left-hander Francisco Liriano and infielder Orlando Hudson are free agents without options.
Peavy has a $22 million option for next season and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has had conversations with Peavy’s newly picked agent, Jeff Barry, about the pitcher’s future. The Sox will more than likely decline the option and pay the $4 million buyout, which would not preclude the White Sox resigning the 31-year-old Alabama native.
If Peavy does hit the 2013 free-agent market, he will be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers in a small group of available established veterans. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are among numerous clubs who watched Peavy’s last start of the season in Cleveland. Peavy finished a three-year, $52 million contract in 2012.
Youkilis, who finished a four-year, $41.125 million deal this season, has a $13 million option for next season and a $1 million buyout. Myers has a $10 million option and $3 million buyout for 2013. The Sox are on the hook for the Youkilis buyout, but would share payment on Myers’ money with Houston, which agreed to assume part of the buyout during trade negotiations last July.
Sources indicate that the Sox will most likely pick up the $9.5 million club option on Floyd for next season. The 29-year-old pitcher came back strong in his last two starts of 2012, despite two stints on the disabled list with a sore right elbow. Floyd signed a three-year, $15.5 million contract before the 2010 season.
Pierzynski is coming off of his most productive major league campaign, setting career highs with 27 home runs and 77 RBIs. (He also had 77 in 2004.) At age 36 he will look to get a well deserved multi-year deal. The Sox would most likely pass on any contract of more than one year, despite the veteran catcher’s fine offensive numbers.