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CHICAGO -- A clubhouse attendant walked into the Chicago White Sox's locker room with five packed suitcases and Jake Peavy in tow. The veteran pitcher is preparing for what seems to be inevitable, a trade that would end his four-year tenure with the team.
"It is sad to think that this is probably my last day in here," Peavy said on Sunday morning. "We all realize the reality of the situation and I am prepared with that to happen soon."
A number of teams, including the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, have been following the White Sox for the last two weeks. Negotiations have intensified since the Braves lost ace starter Tim Hudson earlier in the week. Boston appeared to have the most interest in Peavy, along with St. Louis, until Atlanta became a realistic trading partner after the loss of Hudson.
Peavy has a 4.28 ERA this season and an 8-4 record.
The White Sox have kept Peavy and his agent informed on the process over the last two weeks.
"[GM Rick Hahn] has been outstanding through the whole time this has been talked about," Peavy said. "This is a tough situation for Rick to be in. I don't think any of us at the start of the season thought we would be in the shape we are in now. Rick has been open and honest, up front with me and my representation. I think anyone in this clubhouse would tell you Rick Hahn is a first-class individual and this is a first-class organization. We have been on the same page the whole time."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the team understands why Peavy is getting his things in order, just in case.
"The rumors have been there enough that he's just prepared," Ventura said. "I don't think he wants to go, I don't want him to go, but he has to be prepared and that's where we're at right now. Going on the road, that's it. Again, he has the respect of everybody."
From spring training on, Peavy has been an open book about wanting to pitch for a playoff-bound team. He did not ask for a no-trade contract when he signed a two-year, $29 million extension with Chicago last fall. The reason Peavy didn't ask came from his desire to give the White Sox many options if they were to trade him to a playoff-bound club.
"At the end of the day that is what we play for," he said. "I have never had a chance to play in a World Series. This being 12 years in the major leagues and no Series, the ultimate goal is to be called a champion in what you do. It is not like I am asking out because I wanted that to happen right here. It will be a sad, sad day if I leave but if it benefits the organization for the future, I would be probably going to a better baseball situation."
Peavy was preparing both physically and mentally for a trade.
"As you see I have all of my stuff packed and I have stayed out of it," he said. "I won't be caught off guard because Rick has been so good about communicating with me. If I am not traded I would be happy to know the message here is we think we can win it all next year with you a part of it.
"I am reflecting on my four years here as we speak and getting a little caught up in the emotion. It is a sad day when you think it could be your last. This is a business and this is what we do. I will always cherish the people here and my time in Chicago."