Buehrle Leaning Towards Playing After 2011 Season

Mark Buehrle's contract with the White Sox is up after this season, and two years ago, the southpaw discussed the possibility of retiring once his obligations to the Sox were complete.  Now, however, Buehrle tells CSNChicago.com's Chuck Garfien that "the percentage is going down" that the left-hander will walk away from the game after 2011.

After a talk with his wife in the offseason, Buehrle said he intends to pursue another contract for 2012 and beyond.  He noted, however, that unless the situation is ideal for him, he actually will retire.

If the White Sox don’t want to sign me back after this year and some team (wants me) that I’m not a fan of, or don’t want to play for, or it’s too far from home, I’m not going to go play just to make money," Buehrle said.  "It’s going to have to be the right spot, the right fit for my family.” 

Buehrle said he wants to play for a winning team and he already has in mind a few clubs that would play for and others that he "will not go to no matter how much money or what the situation is.”  The Cardinals are on the former list (Buehrle, a Missouri native, has spoken in the past about his dream to join the Cards) and he stops just short of saying that the Cubs are on his "no chance" list.

His first choice is to continue pitching for the White Sox, though Buehrle isn't sure if the feeling is mutual.  “I don’t know what the team has moneywise for the next couple years," Buehrle said.  "There’s a lot of factors. They might have someone else up and coming and they don’t even want me back. I’m open to whatever."

Since his initial mention of retirement two years ago, Buehrle has delivered a solid 4.06 ERA and 2.17 K/BB ratio in 66 starts, authored a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2009 and won two Gold Gloves.  The left-hander is still young (he turns 32 next month) so if he does choose to keep pitching, there will no shortage of teams interested in his services.  Looking at the list of 2012 free agents, Buehrle would arguably be the top free agent pitcher on the market unless C.C. Sabathia opts out of his contract or St. Louis doesn't pick up Chris Carpenter's option.


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51 Comments on "Buehrle Leaning Towards Playing After 2011 Season"


Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

in other words..i’m signing with St. Louis or the White sox or retiring. I wonder how much of a discount he’d take to play in the Lou’

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
4 years 6 months ago

Kinda wonder if he’d be part of a Cards plan B if Pujols walks.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

yes very true. If he REALLY wants to be here in the Lou, i’d gladly offer a 2yr/15-16mil deal, though not sure what to do with Lohse. Release him i suppose if he sucks it up again in 2011. If he is decent, let Buerhle do his own thing for a year and get him in 2012 :)

The_BiRDS
4 years 6 months ago

More like re work Carps contract for 2-3 year instead of picking up his option. Maybe 24 mil for 3 or 20 mil for 2 years. Then offer Buehrle a 1 year for 7 or 2 years for 12.

Wainwright
Carpenter
Buehrle
Garcia
Westbrook

Pretty nasty rotation if you ask me

4 years 6 months ago

I think he’d try to be part of the Cardinals plan if Pujols stays or leaves. If the White Sox don’t want him, I’m pretty sure the Cardinals could land Burhrle for heavily discounted rate being that he’s a life long Cardinals fan and from the St. Louis area.

I’ve always thought Burhrle would be a Cardinal at one point or another, but I’ve always respected the fact that he stuck with the team that drafted him even though he had a chance to play for his home team Cardinals the last time his contract ran out.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
4 years 6 months ago

Well, I still think no matter whether or not they seriously intend to sign Pujols the Cards need to up their payroll. Centering a majority of the payroll around 3 players is rarely a good idea.

Call this idea crazy: Sign Pujols and Buerhele, but trade Carpenter to keep the payroll down.

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

dont even need to trade carpenter just dont pick up his option

4 years 6 months ago

I don’t think hes the Plan B to Pujols as much as I think they’d like him to take Carpenter’s rotation spot if he leaves next year.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

he’d probably be taking Lohse’s rotation spot next year if he is Plan B with picking up Carpenters option or extending him to a 2yr deal at a lower AAV. Would make for a sick rotation.

4 years 6 months ago

Please let him walk.

Slopeboy
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, he’s going to walk away from Millions at the ripe old age of 32.
You can book it!

4 years 6 months ago

Some do, Gil Meche walked from 12m.

On that note, bring him to Houston

bonestock94
4 years 6 months ago

Hard to imagine a good 32 year old retiring.

Lidocaine
4 years 6 months ago

Dont county out Milwaukee

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

why exactly would he want to go there? Not to sound bullish, but it sounds like he is thinking Whitesox, St. Louis, or retirement.

fisk72
fisk72
4 years 6 months ago

Come on MB, you’re a Sox for life. Of course we want you back; Jerry, Kenny & Ozzie feel the same. You rose up from the 200th round to be the opening day pitcher for most of the decade. Take a 2 year deal that matches up with Konerko’s contract & get us another title or two.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

he’ll take a one year deal, wait for Lohse’s contract to expire, and sign in St. Louis. We all know he wants to be here :)

fisk72
fisk72
4 years 6 months ago

Three or four years ago I would have agreed with you. I think STL is choice 1A now. At least he’s blacklisted the cubs – for that alone he has my respect.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

why exactly is it 1A now? I don’t think much has changed. The whitesox haven’t done anything milestone worthy or whatnot that i would think would want to make him change his mind. Its not that i’m disagreeing with you, i’m just trying to figure out what has changed in these 3/4 years.

fisk72
fisk72
4 years 6 months ago

Well a no-hitter & a perfect game, 4 more opening day starts after Contreras broke the streak in 2006, a 2009 All Star game & 2 Gold Gloves. The same manager & pitching coach with a GM who, right or wrong, shows he’ll make any deal he can to try to win it all. He’s now over 10 years removed from St. Charles & has become the face of the organization along with Konerko. Granted, the Sox haven’t done much since ’05 but the same could be said of the Cards since ’06. My opinion is if he’s offered identical contracts from CWS & STL he’d opt to stay. Four years ago I’m not sure. Just my humble & subjective opinion.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

He still lives in St. Charles.

fisk72
fisk72
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah for 3 months max. He’s in his Lemont house for 7. C’mon dude, Adam Wainwright lives in GA for 3 mos (he wants to be a Brave?). Matt Holliday in OK. Heck, Paul Konerko was born In Rhode Island & lives in the off-season in AZ – does that mean he wants to sign with the Red Sox/DBacks? My point was it’s been over 10 yrs since MB was a young full time MO resident. The novelty is wearing off.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

Holliday actually does not live in OK. He moved to St. Louis this off season. I realize it is your opinion that the novelty wears off and we might never know what MB is thinking but in my humble opinion, you never really lose that desire to play for your childhood team (unless they completely ***** slap you in some way).

fisk72
fisk72
4 years 6 months ago

You’re splitting hairs (Derek Jeter lives in Tampa…..maybe he wants to be a Ray some day) – almost all MLB players live the off-season away from their team city, many in their “childhood” home. Anyway……..uncle.

fisk72
fisk72
3 years 8 months ago

Appears he really did lose his desire.

The_BiRDS
4 years 6 months ago

Its no secret MB wants to play in STL because he wants to be at home. Home for him is STL. He has a house in Lemont because he needs to stay close to the stadium during home stands not because he loves the area.

fisk72
fisk72
3 years 8 months ago

Guess he loves the area of Miami more.

Beauford
4 years 6 months ago

The Cardinals could end up with the following core players in the near term:

Position players – Pujols, Holliday, Rasmus, Zack Cox
Starting Pitchers – Wainwright, Buehrle, Jaime Garcia, Shelby Miller
Not a bad nucleus.

Pujols, Holliday,Wainwright and Buehrle would cost about $75M. The others would be relatively cheap for a few years.

Keep in mind that St; Louis has never had a $100M payroll but that will likely change. I imagine the Cardinals will get a deal with Pujols. And Buehrle is a definitely possibility if they offer him a longer multi-year deal than the Sox.

St. Louis has the chance to be really good for a number of years.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

they were 300k under 100million at the end of 2008 and are just a hair under 110 million going into 2011.

Eric Champion
4 years 6 months ago

pretty sure they had a 120 payroll in 2009 but that was because of the DeRo and Holliday trades

4 years 6 months ago

I hope he is not a fan of the Yankees.

4 years 6 months ago

As I’m not a fan of the Cubs, White Sox or Cardinals, or any of their rivals, I have no dog in this hunt. That being said, I’ve never really been a fan of a player while under contract to one team saying on the record he’d like to play for another team.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

well for the most part i agree, but buerhle didn’t just flat out say “i will pitch for St. Louis and there is nothing you can do to stop me” sort of stuff, he just said it was one of his dreams to play for his childhood team. I see little wrong with that.

4 years 6 months ago

I hope he gets injured.

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

why?

Joey Doughnuts
4 years 6 months ago

I’m assuming he is making a joke about how Buehrle said he would sometimes want Vick to get injured. And if he isn’t making a joke, then that’s fucked up because, unlike Vick, Buehrle is a great person.

4 years 6 months ago

Little of both.

Obviously Buehrle must be a vegan like Pat Neshek to make a com- what? He’s not. Well then…he must be a vegetarian like Prince Fi- whaaaaaaaa no? Well then, he must be an animal rights ac- he’s a WHAT NOW? A HUNTER?

Sorry, he’s a hypocrite. Say what you want about how it’s a “sport” and what Vick did, but Buehrle’s a hypocrite. Basically, the only animal rights he’s for are those of DOMESTIC animals. Do I want him injured? No. But he’s a hypocrite.

chetkincaid
4 years 6 months ago

Soooo what makes Buehrle a great guy and Vick not?

fisk72
fisk72
4 years 6 months ago

Cute.

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

this is whats going to happen. if the white sox cant resign or dont extend jackson they will offer buehrle a contract probably a bit lower then market value for him(discount) and have sale slip into jacksons spot. If the sox extend or resign jackson they let buehrle walk and sale still walks into the rotation. Either way us sox fans will be happy. If he is one the sox we will love it. If he leaves and the cards sign him(probably would happen) we would all thank him for his days with us and respect the fact that he wants to pitch for his home town team. He has had a great career(2 no hitters one of which isa perfect game come on!) and he was awesome for the sox….there would be no bad blood at all. he is a stand up guy and deserves to do what he wants. I hope that he keeps pitching. I remember when randy johnson retired that a ton of guys in mlb network were saying out of the acive pitchers mark could be the next to 300 considering he was a head of glavin at that point in their careers!

xhausted_grad
4 years 6 months ago

this article gets an A+ from me for considering 32 to be young

chetkincaid
4 years 6 months ago

I hope he never wears a White Sox uniform again. Let him go pitch for the Cardinals.

FMB.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

someone seems sensitive…..

hey we’ll gladly take him to be our #4! His sort of stuff is what Dave Duncan foams at the mouth for.

chetkincaid
4 years 6 months ago

You can have him. I honestly never want a person like that to ever wear a White Sox uniform. I’ll never root for him again. I wouldn’t care if the Sox sent him away and didn’t get anything for him.

FMB.

Fifty_Five
4 years 6 months ago

hmm. Did Mark spit on you and a friend after a game or something?

chetkincaid
4 years 6 months ago

No. IMO he’s just not a good person. He’s a hypocrite and he’s not very bright. And as a Sox fan I can admit that he’s simply not that good anymore.

FMB.

disgustedcubfan
4 years 6 months ago

Chet,
Thank You. Your the first person to mention that he’s not that good anymore. People are talking about him like he is a modern day Steve Carlton, which he is not. He is a slightly above .500 pitcher, if he gets a lot of run support.
He works fast and gives you a lot of innings, which has value.
It’s great news for Cub fans that he would never go to the north side. We already have plenty of average pitchers on the downside of their careers.

chetkincaid
4 years 6 months ago

I just think it’s time to let him go. Too many times I’ve seen him get shelled out there serving up that 85mph junk. As a Sox fan I believe that they would be better off without him if it means paying him more than your average 5th starter. That’s pretty much what he is right now.

FMB.

4 years 6 months ago

All .500 pitchers are bad. That’s why 13-12 Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young. But he actually only finished in 3rd in the AL in wins above replacement (WAR) for pitchers. The leader in that column was Cliff Lee, with his equally unimpressive 12-9 record. Win-loss record means absolutely NOTHING about a pitcher’s performance. There are so many other factors involved, like how the other team plays, if the bullpen blows a lead, or, as you yourself pointed out contrary to your argument, run support.

Funny enough, Buehrle’s 3.8 WAR was only third-best among White Sox starting pitchers. But when he’s 16th in the league (with 11th and 12th as his teammates) I don’t see how that’s bad. I mean, that’s still a higher WAR than ANY pitcher on the Cubs last year.

The_BiRDS
4 years 6 months ago

If Albert resigns, Im 100 percent certain (and Im sure people are sick of hearing this by now) Buehrle would actually take a “hometown discount” with the Cardinals. He has mentioned its not about the money its about the situation and being close to home. Hmmm, he lives in St. Louis. Whats closer to home than home itself? To be a part of your hometown team and by be a major key to a World Series title on your favorite team would be worth a discount for him. Hell, Id say he would take a 1 year for 4-5 mil range, maybe cheaper.

chetkincaid
4 years 6 months ago

I hope you’re right. He’s not worth anything more than that.

FMB.