Reinsdorf shuts door on Peavy pursuit

Reinsdorf shuts door on Peavy pursuit

ANAHEIM -- Is the deal dead?

That question popped up numerous times in Chicago over the past weekend, after Jake Peavy officially invoked his trade-veto power to nix a four-for-one move that would have sent him from the San Diego Padres to the White Sox.

General manager Ken Williams indicated on Friday that the trade offer caught Peavy off-guard at such an early stage of the season but added that the White Sox won't sit back and wait while the right-hander is surveying the situation. Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, said he would never say never in regard to Peavy pitching in the American League but reiterated Peavy's desire to stay in the Senior Circuit.

During a Memorial Day radio interview on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf seemed to provide a bit more finality to the discussion at hand.

"Oh, I think we've moved on," Reinsdorf told host Chuck Swirsky on the subject of Peavy. "I think we were ready to do it last week, but we have to move on. We just can't keep everybody in limbo."

Williams mentioned on Friday how he had kept the potential Peavy deal quiet, even from his boss. When he finally told Reinsdorf of the possibility, Williams joked that Reinsdorf almost stepped off a curb on a street in New York and accidentally walked into traffic.

Reinsdorf then gave the OK to pursue an impact hurler who also brought with him $48 million guaranteed over the next three years. This particular commitment on the part of Reinsdorf's team was erased by Peavy's call to stay put.

"There's a reason why a player has a no-trade contract, because he doesn't like to be traded," Reinsdorf said. "So I thought it was kind of a long shot. And I know a lot of National League pitchers don't like to pitch in the American League. It's much tougher to pitch in the American League. So I always looked at it as a 50-50 proposition.

"Pitchers are hard to find, quality pitchers are always hard to find. But you never want to underestimate Kenny. He's always thinking. Maybe it was a good wakeup call for Clayton Richard. He came out and pitched a heckuva game the other night. So maybe we don't need Jake Peavy."

As for the current standing of the White Sox, Reinsdorf didn't expect the team to sit five games under .500 as it opened a six-game road trip on Monday night in Anaheim. He also knows the division is wide open and that the White Sox still can contend for the 2009 AL Central crown.

"The thing that has held us back is we haven't hit, and I'm sure we will," Reinsdorf said. "We're looking at a bunch of guys who have hit in the past, and there's no reason why they won't again."

And if the White Sox target another player outside the organization who can aid in this championship pursuit, someone of Peavy's ilk, there are no untouchables in regard to bringing that deal to fruition.

"Well, the only untouchable I've had in 28 or 29 years in sports wore No. 23 and he had short pants on," said Reinsdorf, referring to Bulls legend Michael Jordan. "Absolutely. You can't fall in love with a player.

"You have to look at every possible transaction and say, 'Does it help the team?' If it will make us better, than you have to do it no matter how good the player is you're giving up or how much you personally like the player."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.