Jake Peavy will sign with a team, work hard and wear his heart on his sleeve. Thatâs where the certainties end.
Peavyâs 2014 season was a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions, creating a very interesting free agency case in which the team that signs him this offseason canât be 100 percent sure which pitcher it’s landing.
The highs were very high. The lows were very low.
“I have a lot to prove,” Peavy recently told ESPN.comâs Jerry Crasnick by phone from his home in Alabama. “If I went out and threw a shutout in Game 6 (of the World Series) or pitched the way I did down the stretch, maybe it would have allowed me to relax too much this winter and not play this role I need to play. I need to have people doubting me, because that’s when you dig deep and find out what you’re made of.
“I like it to a degree, because it spurs you on and kicks you in the butt. I’ve done that my whole life. I have no problem at 33 proving that I’m not a washed-up 40-year-old.”
Peavy, who won his first World Series title with the Boston Red Sox in 2013, struggled to open this season. He posted a 1-9 record and 4.72 ERA in 20 starts before the Red Sox dealt him to the San Francisco Giants in July.
The stretch run was far kinder, as Peavy went 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 12 regular-season starts with the Giants. He again struggled in the postseason, though, even getting roughed up over 1 2/3 innings in Game 6 of the Fall Classic.
Add everything together and itâs difficult to pinpoint which type of contract Peavy will land in free agency this winter. Peavy might be more appealing to National League clubs given his success in the Senior Circuit, but the three-time All-Star isnât limiting his options. In fact, the veteran hurler sounds as fired up as ever.
“I have no agenda,” Peavy told Crasnick, even noting he drinks his teamâs color Gatorade. “I’ll play anywhere. All I need is a reason to believe that it’s a good place for me and that I’m wanted, and I’m coming. And I’m going to do everything I can to help the other 24 guys believe and pull in the same direction.”
Peavy isnât sure where his career will take him next. But his intense, win-first mentality is along for the ride.
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images