If someone had told new White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy this past winter he would be pitching in Chicago, he would have thought he would be plying his trade on the North Side.
"This winter, I certainly thought I was headed across town," Peavy said during an interview on ESPN1000's Chicago GameDay on Sunday. "I think we got pretty close and [I] was excited about that, simply because I love the city of Chicago. I know a bunch of guys on the Cubs and like what they have built over there and [how I] was going to become part of that."
But on Friday, Peavy found out he would pitch not at Wrigley Field, but at U.S. Cellular Field. White Sox general manager Kenny Williams sent four pitchers, including Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda, to San Diego for the former Cy Young winner's services.
"Things all happen for a reason and like I said, I couldn't be happier today to be putting on a White Sox uniform and be here with these guys," Peavy said.
Before the White Sox took on the Yankees on Sunday in the series finale, Peavy threw 50 pitches off the mound in a side session, noting it was the first time he has thrown off a mound in six weeks.
"It's always an adjustment period," Peavy said. "It's tough to get that feel back throwing off a slope. But it's kind of like riding a bike. It will be back after a few more side sessions, hopefully, [and] get better each time out and [I'll] be able to get in a game and get some innings under my belt here soon."
Peavy added while he's eager to return to action, he knows he needs to fully recover from an injury to a tendon in his ankle, which he suffered as he was running the bases against the Cubs during a game in late May. He was placed on the disabled list June 13.
"Certainly, it's going to be hard not to push it, because you want to get out there and want to be a part [of the team]," Peavy said. "You have to understand where you're body's at, and I don't want to take the mound unless I'm fully able to do what I expect to do, and that's to compete and win games for this team."
Williams tried to get Peavy in May, but the right-hander said the timing wasn't right for him to make a move. Peavy said he still thought the Padres had a chance to compete for a postseason spot and were in the middle of a 10-game winning streak. Peavy also noted that after news about the possible deal leaked out to the media, he had 24 hours to decide on the possible trade. When Williams came calling on Friday, the circumstances had changed, Peavy said.
"Our teams were in different spots," he said. "This team [the White Sox] was obviously vying for a playoff spot -- San Diego with absolutely no chance [at a playoff spot], and it doesn't look good for the future. Having to endure another winter like I did with my name out there every day and people calling and wondering, I wasn't looking forward to that. When this opportunity presented itself, I was happy to become a White [Sox player] not only this year, but the next three years of my life being here."
Peavy, who was officially unveiled on Saturday, said he would have to do some work adjusting to the American League, and denied speculation that he didn't want to pitch in the American League.
"Bottom line, I think it comes down to making pitches, and I know there's a lot of speculation, 'Oh, he doesn't want to pitch in the American League,'" he said. "I do love the National League game, and have always said that. I love it because the pitchers are more part of the game and I enjoy the game, the way it flows with the bunt and more of the hit-and-run. But I've certainly never been scared or didn't want to pitch in the American League because I thought it was a more powerful league or anything like that.
"I'm just going to try to make pitches, but certainly, I'm going to be as prepared as I can be when my time comes to get on the mound. I'll certainly know what I need to do to be successful."
The White Sox have one more interleague game left, when they head to Wrigley Field on Sept. 3 to face the Cubs in a makeup of a game that was rained out in June. Peavy chuckled a bit when asked about how he would feel if he got in the game as a White Sox pitcher, especially after the speculation about going to the Cubs.
"I'm certainly not scheduled [to pitch], and you never know how those things will work out, but to stand on the Wrigley field mound in a White Sox uniform would be ironic after the last year of speculation about going across town," Peavy said.