jhickey@bayareanewsgroup.com

The A's would like to add a starting pitcher before the trade deadline comes around Wednesday, and the A's have a preference for that pitcher to be Jake Peavy.

Wishing doesn't make it so, of course, but the club is very much in the hunt for the Chicago White Sox's right-hander, who cleaned out his locker Sunday morning with all indications a trade is just a day or so, if not an hour or so, away.

The Braves, the Dodgers, the Cardinals and the Red Sox came into Sunday as fellow contenders in the race to get Peavy as the White Sox try to shed salary and add good young prospects.

The A's already have some of the best pitching in the majors, leading the American League with a 3.58 ERA coming into Sunday.

You can never have too much, however, and the hitting-challenged A's have relied so heavily on starters Bartolo Colon, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and Dan Straily that they have to take care that one or more doesn't get burned out.

Peavy, 8-4 with a 4.28 and a hunger to pitch for a winner, might be just the infusion the club needs. And it would boost a somewhat sagging bullpen because the arrival of Peavy would mean that when lefty starter Brett Anderson would come off the DL in August, he'd likely move into the bullpen.

"At the end of the day, that is what we play for," Peavy told ESPN.com Sunday. "I have never had a chance to play in a World Series. This being 12 years in the Major Leagues and no Series, the ultimate goal is to be called a champion in what you do.

"It's not like I am asking out, because I wanted that to happen right here (Chicago). It will be a sad, sad day if I leave, but if it benefits the organization for the future, I would probably be coming to a better baseball situation."

Peavy would not be a short-term pickup. He is not a free agent until at least the end of the 2014 season, during which he will earn $14.5 million. He has a player's option on his contract for 2015 for $15 million. Although not talking about Peavy specifically, A's general manager Billy Beane told the Bay Area News Group Friday that for the right player, the club could find ways to make a deal that extends past 2013 work.

For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Insider at blogs.ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.