MLB Free Agency: Jake Peavy Explains Why He’s Still Available

It wasn’t a typical year for Jake Peavy in 2016. But with his credentials, why has he not locked down an MLB offer yet?

At 35 years old (36 in late May), the best days are probably behind Jake Peavy in terms of his MLB career.

Once an above average starting pitcher and Cy Young winner, the veteran right-hander experienced a major setback last season. After finishing his 2015 campaign with an ERA in the mid-3.00s, Peavy’s performance seemingly fell off a cliff.

In 31 appearances, 21 of which were starts, he threw for an earned run average of 5.54 and a WHIP of 1.433. He also allowed over 10 hits per nine innings while letting up 1.4 HR/9. All of these stats are significantly above his career averages.

There has been no player that has defied father time, but Peavy’s production still seemed to drop off almost too suddenly. Now this quick decay has happened to pitchers before, but there must be a pitching-needy team that would want to take a flyer on an accomplished starter who’s just two seasons removed from a very solid season. So why does he remain one of MLB’s few free agent pitchers? Well, the veteran just recently opened up about his offseason mentality.

In an ESPN article by Jerry Crasnick, Peavy explained that his family and recent financial trouble related to his investment in a Ponzi scheme are the primary reasons why he hasn’t settled on a team for the 2017 season.

“It hurts not to be in spring training,” Peavy said by phone. “I know that day is coming, but right now being a dad is absolutely No. 1. There’s no way in a million years that I could leave my boys at this time.”

So while Peavy is still planning on returning to the field in 2017, teams should make note that baseball is clearly not completely on his mind at the moment. This could signal that Peavy may be walking away from the game soon, but he remained adamant that he will be full-go when he does return to an MLB spring training camp.

“When I sign with a team, I’m all in. For me to leave right now with so much uncertainty in my life, it wouldn’t be fair to an organization and it wouldn’t be the right thing to do as far as being a dad.”

Peavy is from Alabama so he may be looking to stay close to home in the middle of the United States. Maybe he’ll return to the West Coast, having pitched for both San Diego and San Francisco during his career.

If Jered Weaver can get $3 million on the open market, Peavy should land an MLB deal. It just remains to be seen when he signs on with a club. Perhaps a spring training or early-season injury could expedite his signing, but from his recent comments it’s clear that he’s not 100 percent ready to fully commit to the grind of an MLB season.

Will Peavy sign an MLB deal, and if so, when? What club looks to be the best fit? Let us know in the comments below.

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