Reindorf said White Sox GM Williams sent him an e-mail to ask him if he wanted Peavy. Reinsdorf said no but he was willing to talk.
"He and Rick [Hahn, assistant general manager] came in and talked me into it," Reinsdorf told Chicago's Baseball Tonight on ESPNChicago radio. "That's how it went down."
Initially, Reinsdorf said, he was concerned about the team's financial commitment to Peavy. ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine reported the White Sox will pick up all $56 million that's due on Peavy's contract, a deal that runs through 2012, with a $22 million option for 2013. The $56 million includes the buyout for the option on 2013, which would cost the club an additional $14 million.
"That's a lot of money to put on a pitcher," Reinsdorf said, adding that Peavy would probably not be available to the team until the end of August.
But, the White Sox chairman conceded, the Peavy trade will set the team's rotation up nicely for the future.
"With Buehrle, Danks, Floyd and Peavy -- that's as good a four starters as you are going to see in baseball, probably," Reinsdorf said. "I'm sure we'll get a fifth starter to go along with them. As far as this year is concerned, if we can get to the playoffs, the playoffs are all about pitching, and that's what won it for us in '05. So I decided, OK, we'll roll the dice."
Reinsdorf said he thinks Peavy agreed to the trade because he was going to a contender.
"San Diego is going in a different direction now," Reinsdorf said. "They're going young, they're building strictly for the future, and what he had to look at if he stayed in San Diego is pitching for a club that might not be able to compete for a few years. Weigh that against coming to a contender, and I think that's what made up his mind."
Reinsdorf also noted the team doesn't have unlimited funds like the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. After going over the books, Reinsdorf said team officials thought they could handle Peavy's contract.
When asked where the Peavy trade ranked during his tenure at the White Sox, Reinsdorf said it was probably as big a shocker as when the team signed slugger Albert Belle and catcher Carlton Fisk.
"Nobody thought we were going to be able to sign Carlton Fisk when we did," Reinsdorf said. "Albert Belle really shocked everybody, because we were supposedly cheapskates and we signed a player for the first $10 million contract. "
While Reinsdorf admitted there was a lot of money at stake, he said winning for the fans was his goal.
"I think this really puts us in a great position to give our fans a contending ballclub for the next several years," he said.