Should White Sox Break Their Rules For Buehrle?

The White Sox have a rule: no contracts exceeding three years for pitchers.  This is because they signed Jaime Navarro for four years before the 1997 season and Navarro was terrible.

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune urges Jerry Reinsdorf to break the rules and give Mark Buehrle a five-year deal.  Rogers feels that Buehrle compares to Billy Pierce and Tom Glavine, southpaws who remained successful for their age 29-33 seasons.  Baseball Prospectus equates Buehrle with Jim Kaat, who was also better than average at that age.  Even #2 comp Jerry Reuss would’ve been a strong buy for his age 29-33 seasons.

Rogers thinks the Sox should offer five years and $75MM, publicly.  If Buehrle chooses the free market over that, the team at least made a legitimate, reasonable offer.  Even better would be to pull off a four-year agreement.  One problem is that Buehrle is riding high on a .264 BABIP, and it’s giving him an artificially low ERA.  Regardless, the Sox do not seem likely to pony up that kind of cash for Buehrle.  While signing him truly could work out, it’s quite possible Kenny Williams could better allocate that money and fill his spot internally.

There was chatter involving both 1993 expansion teams and Buehrle this morning.  Buster Olney quotes a rival GM pondering whether the Marlins could make a surprising play for him.  Right now GM Larry Beinfest still thinks his club is a contender.  Meanwhile, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post urges the Rockies to acquire Buehrle as part of a playoff push.  It would definitely be an unexpected move, but the Rockies are two games over .500 and only 5.5 out.

A final note on the White Sox: Mark Gonzales reports that scouts from the Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Orioles, and Devil Rays were in attendance at the White Sox-Marlins game last night.  Those scouts could’ve been looking at a number of Sox players.  Or perhaps Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis.

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