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Thursday, May 21, 2009
Let's make a deal

By Bruce Levine

White Sox fans may wonder where the money might come from for San Diego pitching ace Jake Peavy. The team could be on the hook for upwards of $80 million if this trade is completed.

For a team that cut $20 million off its payroll after last season, it's amazing owner Jerry Reinsdorf approved the structure of this deal. But if you look at the long-range financial situation for the Sox, they're in great shape after 2009 with almost 40 percent of their $98 million payroll coming off the books.

According to major-league source, the White Sox have given the Padres a list of four other pitchers, two of whom the Padres will choose to go along with left-handers Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda.

One of those pitchers may be right-hander Brian Omogrosso, pitching at Class AA Birmingham. Omogrosso is rated with the organization's best fastball in 2008 by Baseball America.

Poreda was the Sox's No.1 pick in 2008 and is considered their top pitching prospect in the minor leagues. The 6-6 lefty throws a 97-mph fastball consistently, but he is still working to develop his secondary pitches.

It appears Peavy only is concerned about the city he plays in and the condition under which he must pitch. His agent might have a different perspective, seeking the entire $22 million option be picked up for 2013 (there's a $4 million buyout for 2013 if the option isn't picked up).

For a fly-ball pitcher like Peavy, the thought of throwing most of his games in a home run-happy U.S. Cellular Field could be intimidating. If the deal is not completed by the end of Thursday, Peavy may say 'No' to the trade and make his scheduled start against the Cubs on Friday night.

The White Sox's attempt to get Peavy shows their commitment to winning, and it also serves notice to the division that a move like this would them the favorites to win the American League Central.