Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle will enter free agency this winter and appears ready to play the field a bit after playing his entire 12-year career on the south side.
While many would like to see the 32-year-old back with the White Sox – and they are reportedly set to offer him a two-year deal – Buehrle is likely to at least listen to offers from other teams. The New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs are among teams definitely expected to make offers for the four-time All-Star, who just won his third-straight Gold Glove.
Another interesting option would be the (Florida) Miami Marlins, who apparently have some cash to throw around this winter and now have Buehrle’s former manager Ozzie Guillen running the show on South Beach. ESPN’s Jason Churchill also thinks Buehrle’s hometown team, the world champion St. Louis Cardinals, could be players for him as well.
Personally I think the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers will at least talk to Buehrle, since they essentially check in with every top player available.
So what will a team be getting with Buehrle, only one of the league’s most successful innings machines. Since 2001 – Buehrle’s first year as a starter – he has averaged 220 innings per season. That is insane. He has a record of 157-118, a 3.82 ERA and a 1.278 WHIP. Those are great numbers, but Buehrle has tons of miles on his arm.
Buehrle will likely get a big deal from someone since he is probably the best starting pitcher on the market other than C.J. Wilson. I think he’ll have a tough time leaving Chicago but he just might.