GLENDALE, Ariz. – When the Chicago White Sox acquired Jake Peavy from San Diego last season, they were well aware of his talent on the mound. Now, they’re finding out about his unselfishness in the clubhouse.

On the first day of spring training, Ozzie Guillen announced that Mark Buehrle would be his opening day starter. The reason Chicago’s manager could do that so easily was because Peavy turned down the assignment.

”I had talked to Jake at SoxFest about him being the opening day guy,” pitching coach Don Cooper said Monday. ”He called me up two or three days after SoxFest and said, ‘Dude, I don’t want to start. I don’t want it. This is Buehrle’s team.’ ”

Peavy and the White Sox know Buehrle needs one more opening day start to set the franchise record of eight.

”Certainly we all knew that Buehrle had a chance to have the record, but my thought was we would be running out our best guy on Day 1 and we would then be able to give Buehrle a few days extra,” Cooper said. ”But the point is Jake’s unselfishness was a very, very refreshing thing to see.”

For a guy who has made only three starts in a White Sox uniform, Peavy is opening a lot of eyes within the organization. Even Buehrle questioned the club’s decision to go with him over the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner.

”I wouldn’t have cared,” Buehrle said. ”I still think they’re making a mistake pitching me opening day. I’ve said all along that Peavy is dominating. He’s going to go out and dominate teams and that’s what people want to see, fans want to see — someone go out and dominate.

”I’ve said all along that he should be starting opening day. I think when the playoffs get here, we’ll see, but if we make it I think he would be the No. 1 guy. I’ll just go out there and try and get the win, get us going the right way.”

 

DODGERS: Manny Ramirez is known for saying some curious things. This is his latest pronouncement: The Dodgers star insists his days in Los Angeles are numbered.

”I know I’m not going to be here next year,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez’s contract expires after this season. Why is he so certain he won’t get an extension?

”I don’t know,” he said. ”I just know I’m not going to be here.”

At 37, Ramirez is heading into his 17th major league season. The former World Series MVP served a 50-game drug suspension last year and, for him, was hardly a force — .290, 19 home runs, 63 RBI.

Ramirez threw out the possibility that he could retire after 2010.

”What I can do is to just wait and at the end of the season I can say to myself if I want to do this, if I want to play,” Ramirez said. ”That’s where I’m at. I think I have to wait until the season ends and see where my family’s at and make a choice.”

Asked if he can see a scenario where Ramirez might be pursued in the offseason, General Manager Ned Colletti wasn’t in the mood to look into the future.

”I’m worried about this season, that’s where my focus is,” Colletti said. ”If that is accurate (that Ramirez won’t return to the Dodgers) and he still wants to play after this year, I hope that he’s the premier free agent on the market. That would mean he had a great year for the Dodgers.”

 

YANKEES: General Manager Brian Cashman is working to finalize a deal with Chan Ho Park, who pitched well against New York in the World Series last season.

Cashman said he has had several conversions with agent Jeff Borris, who represents Park. Park, 36, went 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 45 games with the Philadelphia Phillies last year. The right-hander worked 31/3 scoreless innings in the World Series.

 

REDS: Outfielder Jonny Gomes agreed to an $800,000, one-year deal, providing the right-handed power hitter Cincinnati wanted in the outfield.

General Manager Walt Jocketty said Gomes will compete for the job in left field. The contract gives the Reds a $1.75 million option for 2011.

The Reds put right-hander Edinson Volquez on the 60-day disabled list to create room on the roster. Volquez had reconstructive elbow surgery last August and isn’t expected back before midseason.

 

RANGERS: Utility infielder Khalil Greene will not be joining the team because of an undisclosed private matter.

The Rangers announced the change in status for Greene, who on Jan. 21 signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with Texas.

General Manager Jon Daniels issued a statement saying the Rangers fully support Greene’s decision, and would not comment on his ”medical situation.” Daniels says the Rangers have not put a timetable on Greene’s possible return.