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Yankees Potential 2015 Free Agent Target: Jake Peavy

The Yankees could target Peavy as a replacement veteran for Hiroki Kuroda

Jamie Squire

2014 Statistics: 3.73 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 7.02 K/9, 2.80 BB/9, 202.2 IP, 1.9 WAR

2015 Age: 33

Position: Right-handed starting pitcher

The Yankees love veteran starting pitchers on short-term deals. They went year-to-year with Andy Pettitte, brought in Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon on one-year deals, and have kept Hiroki Kuroda around for the last three seasons. If this is truly the end of Kuroda's stay in pinstripes, the Yankees may look to replace him with a younger, but still older, model like Jake Peavy.

It might surprise you to learn that Peavy is still only 33 years old, but with a rotation that is expected to consist of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Shane Greene, and with CC Sabathia's career in doubt, the Yankees might look to the free agent right-hander to fill the role of rotation elder statesman. The reason he's viewed as more of retread than a solid veteran option is because the former Cy Young winner underwent shoulder surgery in 2010 and struggled through the 2011 season. However, he returned to form in a big way with the White Sox in 2012 and provided solid work over the last two seasons to make him a short-term option for the Yankees heading into 2015.

If we were basing his signing purely on his time with the Red Sox over parts of the last two seasons, it would be easy to dismiss him as a has-been. In 2014, he pitched to a 4.72 ERA with a 4.80 FIP in 124 innings of mediocrity. What made him an attractive piece was when he was traded to the Giants and gave them a 2.17 ERA and 3.03 FIP in 78.2 innings of solid productivity. Sure, the real Peavy might lay somewhere in the middle of these two performances, but it's good to see that he pitched well through the end of the season.

Maybe he was hurt by a 12.6% HR/FB rate in Fenway Park, which might not translate too well in Yankee Stadium, but he also excelled in the American League as recently as 2012, hopefully chalking up a bad year-and-a-half to bad luck rather than an inability to pitch against stronger competition. What is most attractive about Peavy is that he finally might have put his injury issues behind him as he reached the 200-inning plateau once again.

While Hiroki Kuroda may have been better last year, it's not hard to understand why the Yankees might decide to put their faith in someone who is not 40 years old yet. If Kuroda is not a Yankee in 2015, and they can't work out a deal with Brandon McCarthy, it could make sense to move in on Peavy and give him a year or two at $10-15 million per.