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Red Sox Emerge As Top Buehrle Suitor

Here's something we didn't see coming.  According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Red Sox have emerged as the frontrunner for southpaw Mark Buehrle.  They've jumped ahead of the Braves and Mets on the strength of their farm system. 

Cowley says talks between Buehrle and the White Sox regarding an extension are basically dead.  Now Boston has taken center stage, even sending assistant GM Allard Baird to watch Buehrle's last start (a typical fine effort from him). 

Cowley believes a major motivation for the Red Sox is keeping Buehrle away from the Yankees.  The Red Sox would apparently give him a five year extension.  Possible targets for Kenny Williams: Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jed Lowrie.  In my opinion: two of those guys, done deal.  Buchholz is arguably the best pitching prospect in the minors, and would make White Sox fans forget about Buehrle fairly quickly. 

Williams plans to sit back and listen to all offers first, of course.  According to Cowley, at least seven teams have made serious contact.

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I just don't think giving up 2 guys like Buchholz and Ellsbury make sense. You give Buchholz 2-3 years and he can be as effective as Buehrle is now and Ellsbury is almost ready to man CF. I'm not saying it wont happen but if I were the GM I sure wouldn't be having talks like that. I'd rather have those 2 guys for well below league average salary than Buehrle at 10+ mill and Crisp or say AJ at 14+. Sounds like a great move for the Sox on the other hand. Wouldn't need to sign a FA CF in the off-season and with Gio, Darnks and Buchholz, you have to like the future of that rotation.

As a Sox fan, I sure don't want to see this trade happen. We really don't need another big name starter with Jon Lester hanging in the wings. Buchholz has been unhittable all year in portland and Ellsbury is a gem of a center fielder. Doesn't make much sense.

It'll be a nice rent-a-player for whoever gets him. He'll be a Card in 08. He wants to play in the midwest.

If the White Sox can get Bucholz and either Ellsbury or Lowrie. The Red Sox would have Beckett, Schilling, DiceK, Wakefield, and Buehrle. With Tavares moving to the bullpen. I can't think of a better rotation in baseball. And don't think for a second that the Yankees haven't inquired about Buehrle. I think it could be a good deal for both teams. Boston could make a run at another championship. And the White Sox will have a chance to get a couple of promising young prospects, to look towards rebuilding.

I really can't see Boston making a trade for any rental player where they would have to include Buchholz, Bowden or Ellsbury.

Add in the fact that Buehrle is less than a sure thing when it comes to pitching in the AL East, and is hardly ideal for Fenway, and this seems like the Sox are trying to make the Yanks offer more. Tabata, maybe?

I can't see the Red Sox trading Buchholz. He's tearing up the minors and could be in Boston possibly around the middle of next year at the latest.

However, I could see them willing to include Bowden in a package that includes Willy Mo Pena and possibly the Breakfast Cereal while promoting Ellsbury to the show. It's more than a fair deal for a rent a player, as both Crisp and Pena would be significant upgrades over Scott Podsednik and Darin Erstad.

The Red Sox can bring a fresh Jon Lester back pretty much whenever they want to, and he was decent enough last year with cancer, now he says he is feeling far better, he is pitching pretty well in AAA, and has improved his control

So why give up so much for 3months of Buehrle?

Bowden and Lowrie is the absolute most I would consider for a Sox fan, Bowden and Moss(RF on fire in AAA) would be a better package.

Buehrle is significantly better than Lester is this year. You give up so much for 3 months of Buehrle so you can have another World Series winner.

Ahh no. I can see the Red Sox wanting to keep him around for a few years, solidifying the rotation. But, jeez, I hope they don't give up the farm. I could deal with Wily Mo, Coco, and/or Moss going, but the 2 people I NEVER want to see leave are Buchholz and Ellsbury. I wouldn't mid having Buehrle around for next year, that would be Beckett, Dice-K, Wakefield, Lester, and Buehrle. Not bad at all for the future, but holding on to the farm would be a far better idea.

The Sox wouldn't make a move on Buerhle unless he agrees to a contract extension beforehand. I doubt for any second that Buerhle would turn down a trade to Boston.

so what happens to lester for the rest of this year if they pull the trigger on this?

I really can't see the sox trading Buchholz. I've actually seen this kid pitch. His stuff is electric. Twice the stuff Jon Lester was demonstrating when he was a top prospect. I'm always a skeptic on prospects. So many are hyped. So few work out. But this kid is special. Frankly, I would rather have him in the rotation THIS SEASON than Mark Buerle.

I don't want to see the Sox deal Elsbury either. I'd like to see him patrolling center in fenway next year (instead of Coco). However, I wouldn't be too surprised considering all of the free agent center fieders on the market. The Sox seemed to have loved Tori Hunter for some some, and what Theo wants, Theo get (i.e. JD Drew).

Buehrle is and expiring contract, I dont want the sox to trade Buchholz or Ellsbury or both for that matter. You have to think that they are not going to re-sign schilling if they make this move. Beckett, Dice-k, Buehrle, Wake, Lester. Let the deal fly if they want bowden, lowrie, and maybe murphy. Looking at Pedroia and Youkilis, I want to see more of the farm make it and do well. When they played the braves the other night the WEEI was amazed that 7 out of 9 players on the field where home grown. I want to see more guy like Ellsbury that can command the strike zone much like Pedroia and Youkilis.

I seriously doubt the White Sox would primarily want a top pitching prospect in return for Buerhle. The White Sox have a handful of high quality nearly-ready starters in both AA and AAA.

What the White Sox really need is a hitter, either a young major leaguer, or a many-tooled prospect ready to step into a major league job, especially since the hitters in their system hav disappointed in their time with the big club.

Joe Cowley has been doing a lot of drinking lately, methinks.

Buchholz: 74 IP, 1.82 ERA, 12+ K/9, 0.905 WHIP, will be 23 years old in 2 months.

Bowden: Lesser numbers, but put up a great line at hitter-friendly Lancaster to begin this season: 9 K/9, 0.93 WHIP, 1.37 ERA, between two levels and 81 IP, has allowed only 2 HRs, which isn't a complete fluke given that he allowed only 9 in 112 2/3 IP last season. Also: has yet to turn 21 years old.

Ellsbury: Do I really need to spell this one out?

I'm happy for Buehrle that he's having a nice CONTRACT YEAR, but as they say: thanks, but no thanks. It's not like he wouldn't help, but it sounds like the price is much too high for a guy who's going to be in St. Louis next season.

Does anyone else remember what the scouts were saying after the Buchholz/Clemens matchup in Clemens's AA tuneup? That they'd take Buchholz in a big league rotation RIGHT NOW over Clemens? This kid is the real deal, and there's every reason to believe that he could contribute in '08.

The Sun-Times, and more specifically the White Sox schill Joe Cowley, rank somewhere between The National Enquirer and the WSCR on the credibility meter.

Let me add my voice to the chorus of Sox fans who would be shocked and appalled to see the team part with Buchholz for rent-a-Buehrle.

Maybe in some other circumstances this could make sense. But as is, the Sox already have the best rotation in baseball, plus Lester and Buchholz (and Hansack, and maybe even Bowden) in the wings. As far as keeping him away from the Yankees goes, the AL East will likely tighten up, but it's not really a dogfight right now.

Now, given the Sox' crowded OF situation, I'd be down with something involving Pena/Murphy/Ellsbury or what-have-you.

But not Buchholz. Not part of a package, and not straight up. No.

I can only hope that TTH is right, and that Cowley is part, knowingly or otherwise, of a psyops mission to boost Buehrle's return for the Hawk Harrelson Sox.

Nevermind the fact that Buehrle's had an incredibly easy schedule, given the division he plays in. One game against Cleveland, where he got hit by a comebacker...doesn't really count as an outing. He got shelled by the Yankees, and gave up 4 in 7 to the Rays. He pitched pretty well in two starts against the Angels--3 earned in 6 both times--but that was in April and May when they still couldn't hit...

Other then that: He's faced KC twice, Texas, Oakland, Houston, Pitt, Toronto, and the Cubs twice. Hardly the toughest schedule in the world...

He's nothing more then a number 4, MAYBE a 3. Is that worth giving up a potential ace and starting CF? Not even a little bit. And the Yankees are 10.5 fricken games back...they're not out of it, but Mark Buerhle does not represent an 11 game swing in the standings over 2-3 months of a season. So the "we should keep him from NY" thing is asinine.

Besides...and I realize there's a small sample issue here...he's hardly been a Boston nightmare over his career. 4.31 ERA in 62.2 innings, but with a 1.42 WHIP and .297 BAA. Let them have him, he's not even a little frightening...

No thank you.

Hobo, Its not that the sox wouldnt want to resign him, its that buehrle dosent want to play in the east. He's said he wants to play in the midwest, and has been adament about being a Card.

you guys are ridiculous. buehrle's a #4? all he's been having is a good CONTRACT year? look at his career from 2001 on. take away the 2nd half last yr and he's been amazing. just bcuz he doesnt throw 99 and doesnt have 200k's a yr doesnt mean he isn't a top of the rotation pitcher. why does everyone look at it as a rent-a-pitcher. if you like the guy so much your willing to give up some good players for him, SIGN HIM TO AN EXTENSION!!! and all this "he's adament on being a Cardinal." can you show me where he said that? all he's said is he loved them growing up and thats his hometown team. he doesnt go into every offseason saying god why cant i be there. i agree buchholz probably wont b in the deal, but i think KW will need ellsbury in the deal. you guys are high if you think we'd even consider taking coco crisp in a deal for buehrle. if KW thinks lowrie can be the SS of the future, then he'll be in it. if not, pena and ellsbury or something to that affect. dont forget that other teams like atlanta, mets, brewers, drays, and cards have asked about getting buehrle and have good talent in the minors as well. if you get buehrle, you'll be giving up something of value.

bbbjenks: My issue is that he's not worth any of those guys, with the possible exception of Lowrie. His BABIP is a minor point of concern as well - he's been lucky.

I said he'd help, but crap, I'm not sure he's enough of an upgrade (over Gabbard/Lester/Hansack/Pauley et al) to be worth a premier defensive CF prospect as well as a potential future leadoff man.

I agree, KW is smart enough that he's not going to just take Crisp or Pena, but I'm hoping Theo is smart enough to realize a few things.

1. Buchholz projects as well as anyone not named Homer Bailey, Philip Hughes, or Yovani Gallardo as a big-league pitcher.
2. Ellsbury would be a GG-calibre CF today, and could be a great leadoff hitter too.
3. Buehrle has a LOT of mileage. And yes, he is having a good contract year. That's a fact.

hes having a good contract yr. but its not like a adrian beltre situation where his stats this yr are 200% of any of his previous yrs. and the fact he has a lot of mileage should be attributed to him taking care of himself, not an assumption hes going to breakdown soon. hes not an injury risk. the reason he isnt is bcuz hes not pumping 99mph fastballs up there. he projects to have a very long, consistent, and healthy career (ala glavine, maddux, etc). i agree that boston is stacked with pitching especially with buchholz waiting patiently, so from that front i'd be surprised if boston makes a move on them. but if they do want them to solidify the rotation for this yr and for the future if schilling leaves, you wont get him cheap. u guys took a bigger risk when you made the beckett trade. that guy always had the injury/blister problems. this is a safer bet compared to that. oh well, we'll see in a matter of a few days im sure. today's sweep might have helped hurry that process. i'd love to get 2 hitters (pena/ellsbury) for buehrle and a bullpen guy or 2 for dye or contreras.

I think it's hard to draw comparisons between anyone and guys like Glavine/Maddux et al. And Beckett might've been a bit bigger risk, but he was a higher reward, and younger. Also, Hanley Ramirez (regrets, I've got 'em) had had a very down year in the Sox farm system, and the pitching prospects (outside Anibal) probably didn't have a future in the Sox organization anyway. It's a completely different situation for a lot of reasons, and Beckett had a higher value, especially because he would be under club control for more than 2-3 months.

Let me give you guys my expert analysis on the Boston red sox. They are interested in Buehrle. But they are not far and away the front runner this more sounds to me like the White Sox trying to get the Yankees interested. The Red Sox will not trade Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, or Jacoby Ellsbury but they would trade Jed Lowrie for a pitcher. The oppion by these so called radio experts in Boston is this interest by the Red Sox is over hyped and there is truth to that. But do not be fouled the Red Sox have interest. After all the did offer Crisp for Buehrle last July.
I have to be honest I am completely sick and tired of people saying that the Red Sox trying to play keep away with the Yankees. As an organization how can you succeed when your worrying about your competitors. You cant! Theo has to worry about the best team on the field and everything else will follow. Does anyone else honestly think that the Red Sox are nervous about a team thats in third place and 11 1/2 games back in the divison? If someone can give me a reason for the Red Sox to be worried please inform me.
To further on QuoSF point it was a risk to get Beckett and I agree with You about Ramirez but just to help your point Anibal Sanchez was not our top pitching prospect when he left and he had many shoulder problems in the minors.(And we are seeing it in the majors now as well)

My speech about the best team in baseball is over.

Red Sox previous interest in Mark Buehrle.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2006/07/sox_ask_for_bue.html

I just don't see it. 3 months of Burhle could make a difference for most any team. Not for Buccholz or Ellesbury.

You don't need more than 3 ace starters to win a ring. Beckett, Schilling, DiceK can handle that.

Lowrie+Bowden possibly, no more than that. Though I'd rather throw in someone like David Murphy, Edgar Martinez, or the like.

I think the author of this article was looking at the farm systems of teams who may be interested in pitching and decided, on his own, that the Sox have "emerged as the top suitor". Think of it, what contenders have better farm systems than the Red Sox, who would be interested in upgrading pitching? LAA and LAD both have better farm systems, but pitching is not a need for either. The Yanks don't have the depth, they won't deal Buerhle inside the division, so the Tigers (who don't have a need anyway), Twins, and Indians are all out, the A's need bats, the NL west teams (such as SD, LAD, ARI) don't seem to need 3 months of Buerhle. The teams I see that would be interested: Mets, Sox, Braves, Phillies, and any team who thinks they have a shot in the NL central. Now looking at the farm systems, you'd have to think the Sox would match up just as well or better than those interested in Buerhle. I can see the Mets going hard after him, and have the OF depth in the minors to pull it off. It would only make sense for the Sox if they didn't include ANY of the prospects named in this report other than Lowrie. Unless the Sox have their sights on a free agent CF (Ichiro, Hunter), they aren't including Ellsbury. And we all know how valuable young pitching is.

Actually the Yankees do have some pitching depth in their farm system, more than you think they have. According to Kevin Goldstein they have the best pitching in the league with Chamberlain, Kennedy, Betances, Whelan and of course, Phil Hughes. I don't really agree with Goldstein about them having the best but the point is that they do have depth and could make a trade for Buehrle. On that note, I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope they don't trade for him and watch him get killed in the AL East while the Yanks give up a package of Tabata and Chamberlain or something. Yes the Yankees do need pitching help especially with Moose and Clemens barely being able to finish 6 innings and Igawa being a complete joke as well as the bullpen being overworked but it's not worth giving up our best and only hitting prospect along with a power arm for 3 months of Buehrle (and yes I don't think they would sign him to an extension after watching him get raped in the East).

yeah, you are correct, they do have some depth, but what I meant was that the Yanks, because their rotation is old and/or injury prone and/or inneffective, I don't see them trading away 2 of their promising pitching prospects for a possible 3 month rental of a guy who is likely not going to make a huge difference in getting the Yanks to the playoffs. If he were to get beat up in the AL East, the Yanks likely wouldn't try to resign him, so it would only be a 3 month rental for a guy who would cost you valuable assets that the Yanks need for the long term stability of the club.

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