Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Everybody Wants Mark Buehrle

Mark Buehrle was awarded with his third consecutive Gold Glove on Tuesday night, though unfortunately his defense wasn't awesome enough to win one for A.J. Pierzynski as well. Still, the Gold Glove isn't the only reward Buehrle will be getting this winter.

He's gonna get paid too.

Over the next few weeks or however long it is until Mark Buehrle signs a new contract, there are going to be a lot of rumors about where he's going and who is interested. Generally when it comes to free agency I subscribe to the idea of "Player X will sign with whoever gives him the most Player $."

Which generally means that the rumors we hear about don't mean a damned thing because nobody knows how much any team is going to offer a free agent except the team making the offer.  We can only find out which teams are interested, and even that information isn't always to be trusted.

Though it doesn't completely apply to Buehrle because there's a good chance he'd take a discount rate to return to the White Sox.

So far there are plenty of teams who may be interested. St. Louis is always a possibility when Buehrle's involved, though I'm not sure the Cardinals interest is as mutual at this point. Then there's the Royals and even the Cubs have been mentioned.

Which would suck.

The Nationals are reportedly interested as well, though I don't see that happening, but there's another team that may come into play according to Doug Padilla. He seems to think there's a possibility that Buehrle could join Ozzie Guillen in taking his talents to South Beach.

Guillen is now the manager of the Florida Marlins, a club that reportedly is looking to make a splash on the free-agent market with some money to spend.  
Some of that cash could be headed in the direction of Mark Buehrle, the White Sox’s veteran left-hander, who just won his third consecutive Gold Glove Award on Tuesday. 
If the Marlins do land Buehrle, it’s not out of spite from Guillen to send his former team reeling. The Marlins actually do desire a proven left-handed starter and Buehrle is emerging as one of the best available on the free-agent market. 
There are a lot of reasons I don't see that happening. First of all, Miami is pretty far away from home for Buehrle, and it's well known he'd like to stay close to the midwest. Secondly, if the Marlins are looking to make a big splash in free agency, Buehrle isn't exactly that splash, is he?

He's a wonderful pitcher, yes, but he's not a name that's going to sell tickets in the Marlins new stadium. If any pitcher from Chicago winds up in Miami, I'd put my money on Carlos Zambrano.

Still, wherever Buehrle winds up pitching next season, it's clear that he's got a lot of options. Which just further proves that even if Buehrle did return to the White Sox on a discount, even the discounted price won't be cheap.

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