With the end of the regular season just a few weeks away, teams are beginning to make their offseason plans pertaining to players on their rosters. In situations where a player has a guaranteed contract, the decision of whether to retain him or not has already been made, but arbitration-eligible players and guys who have team options for 2013 often force teams to make difficult decisions. Based on their performances and their 2013 salaries, here are the five toughest calls that teams are going to have to make this winter.
Jake Peavy, SP | $22 million team option or $4 million buyout
While Adam Dunn and Alex Rios have both had big comebacks to spark the offense, Peavy's return to prior form has been the biggest driver of the White Sox's success this season. After dealing with a variety of arm problems, Peavy is going to throw 200 innings for the first time since 2007, and while he's not quite as dominant as he was then, his K/BB ratio (3.89) is nearly the equal of Justin Verlander (3.93) and ranks seventh in the American League among qualified starters. He's also the rare fly ball pitcher who can succeed in the White Sox's home ballpark, and while it might seem like he's been around forever, he doesn't turn 32 until the end of May.