Jake Peavy’s 2016 season ended with a career-worst 5.54 ERA, a 1.43 WHIP, and divorce papers. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Peavy’s wife Katie, a childhood friend he married at 19 years old, filed for divorce in October, right after the Giants were eliminated in the NLDS by the Cubs.
Peavy didn’t pitch in the postseason. He hadn’t started a game since July, and made his last appearance on Sept. 21. Peavy wasn’t placed on the DL, but Crasnick says the pitcher was sidelined after stepping on a pair of scissors at home.
Before all of that, Peavy had been pitching through distraction. In June, it was revealed that he had been the victim of a Ponzi scheme—one that also targeted Roy Oswalt and Mark Sanchez—and may have lost around $15 million. According to a suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, financial adviser Ash Narayan had ingratiated himself with the athletes by playing on “their shared Christian faith and interest in charitable work” and secretly invested their money in a ticket brokerage company of which he was a major shareholder.
The investigation dragged on during the season, pulling Peavy away from baseball for depositions and conference calls, and left him paranoid about the relationships in his life:
It turned me into a person I never wanted to be. People would text me and I’d say, ‘What does this person want from me? What’s their motive?’ I had numerous relationships for 10-15 years with people who let me and my family down in a huge way. You put the blame on yourself in these situations, but I can’t even tell you the mindset I was in from the start of spring training through the season.
With the divorce still not finalized, Peavy is staying away from baseball to take care of his four sons:
“I’m not shying away from getting divorced,’’ Peavy said. “It’s not something I’m proud of or something I wanted or asked for, but it happened and I’m dealing with that. But I also have four boys I’m responsible for in life, and I just feel deep down that it’s in my best interests and my family’s interests to be there through this time.
“When I sign with a team, I’m all in. For me to leave right now with so much uncertainty in my life, it wouldn’t be fair to an organization and it wouldn’t be the right thing to do as far as being a dad.’’
The 35-year-old still hopes to find a team later this season, assuming the market gets hot for guys who throw 90-mph fastballs.