PEORIA, Ariz. — "I'm here."
That was the simple statement that Gavin Floyd uttered near the end of his meeting with reporters on Tuesday afternoon and it was an obvious one. The tall 29-year-old right-hander was still a member of the Chicago White Sox despite the reheated trade rumors that surfaced earlier in the day. One report had the Toronto Blue Jays pushing to get a deal done, but White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he wasn't looking to move Floyd in a rare spring training trade.
Whatever the truth, the pitcher who puts the even in keel said the speculation didn't faze him in the slightest. He made his second start of the spring in a 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres, allowing one run and striking out five over four innings of work at the Peoria Sports Complex.
"I guess it's a good thing in a way that teams want you," Floyd said. "But I'm here in Chicago and I want to be here. It's our second home here ... I'm looking forward to being here and making an impact in Chicago."Considering an uncertain future isn't anything new for Floyd. He was often mentioned this offseason as one of the biggest pitching trade targets as Williams steered the White Sox in and out of a rebuilding plan that he cannot fully commit to for a number of reasons. Asked if he was mildly shocked that he ended up reporting to Glendale for his sixth season with the White Sox — and not a new team like the Blue Jays — Floyd responded with the same shrug.
"I wasn't really surprised," Floyd said. "I was just hearing things and people were text messaging me and I was just like 'oh, really?'
"Until it happens you really don't know. They're all rumors and a lot of those are not necessarily coming from the team."
With Williams splashing water on the newish rumors, it would seem likely that Floyd's young son Jax will still be able to wear the tiny custom "Floyd" White Sox jersey that he adorably sported on Tuesday. Any slight chance the White Sox have of competing for a division title is predicated on Gavin Floyd being one of the players to post a career year as he serves as John Danks' literal right-hand man in the rotation. What's more, the White Sox have already ticked off so many fans with the fallout from last year's ill-fated "All In" strategy that they're not going to strip the team further right before opening day.
But if things do go south for the White Sox once they move back north? Well, it would seem that Floyd's trade value would be much higher once more teams — *cough* Red Sox *cough* — join the Blue Jays in wishing for a deeper rotation. He's an above-average pitcher who has posted a 107 ERA+ in his five years with the White Sox and exactly the type of innings-gobbling pitcher a team would want to have at the back of its rotation during a pennant chase.
Until then, though, Floyd said he'll just work toward another season on the South Side.
"I feel like I'm building with each outing," he said. "I mean it's only been a couple .. But I feel like I'm going out there and being able to see hitters and get ahead of [them]. I feel like things are progressing."