GLENDALE, Ariz. – Gavin Floyd made his first spring training appearance Tuesday. And, yes, it was with the White Sox.
Despite seemingly endless trade rumors, Floyd still pitches for the South Siders. But even he isn’t sure how long it will last, although the Sox picked up a $9.5 million option on him.
“Anything still can happen this year,” Floyd said. “Any time a team wants to trade you, they’re going to trade you.
“But right now, I’m here and I’m excited. I love the players and coaches and the city.”
Because of a workable salary and depth in starting pitching, the rumors about Floyd pitching elsewhere likely will persist.
“It doesn’t bother me anymore,” he said. “Sometimes I pay attention to it more than I should. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.
“Sometimes when you think about it, you find yourself wondering where your family is going to go and stuff like that. But ultimately, I put it in God’s hands, and wherever I am, I’m going to give it my all.”
Of course, Floyd also can be a valuable member of the Sox’s starting five, especially if he is put into the fourth slot. But he also has just a 45-48 record the past four seasons, and was on the disabled list with elbow tenderness last year.
Obviously Floyd can’t escape the talk.
“It’s a waste of time to think about it, really, but it’s only natural to do,” he admitted. “These past 3 years I’ve been subject to trade rumors.
If Floyd continues to pitch like he did Tuesday against an All-Star studded Team USA, his value only increases to the Sox and others.
In 2 2/3 scoreless innings, he allowed a pair of hits and a walk, but also struck out three batters.
When he put two runners on base in the first inning, Joe Mauer hit into a double play. With two runners on base in the second inning, he struck out Ben Zobrist.
“There are not too many weak spots in that lineup,” Floyd said. “No matter who’s in there, you try to keep it normal and make pitches. To be thrown in the mix that early, I kind of liked that. I like the challenge.”
Last year’s elbow problems?
“I don’t feel it at all, [even with] how many off-speed pitches I threw,” he said. “It felt good. A non-issue, I guess.”
So the Sox rotation is set and lined up for the season. At least for now.
Chris Sale still appears to be opening day starter April 1 against the Royals, which would allow the Sox to separate their three left-handers. Jake Peavy would go second, then John Danks, Floyd and Jose Quintana.
So far, only Peavy (three runs in three innings) and Danks (one run in two innings) have allowed runs. Sale starts the second round of the rotation against minor leaguers on Wednesday’s day off.