Mark Buehrle Rumors

Three Teams Made Three-Year Offers To Buehrle

Three teams have made three-year offers to Mark Buehrle in the monetary range that he is seeking, a source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).  None of the teams have put forward the no-trade clause that the veteran is seeking, but two of clubs, both from the National League, are close to including that in their offers, Cowley reports (Twitter links). 

The White Sox are not one of the three teams, but Buehrle will talk to Ken Williams & Co. before he puts his name on the dotted line, Cowley tweets.

A deal could happen quickly, unless more clubs ramp up their pursuit at the Winter Meetings, Cowley tweets.  Cowley (via Twitter) notes that he was told that there is one club lurking that could come in and swoop Buehrle up, though it could just be a bluff.  On Thursday we heard that Buehrle is drawing interest from 14 teams.


Marlins Eyeing Aramis, Pursuing Reyes, Buehrle

The Marlins have discussed the possibility of signing Prince Fielder and some of their front office executives like the idea of pursuing the 27-year-old free agent, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, Miami is more active in its pursuit of Albert Pujols and other top free agents. The latest:

  • The Marlins are putting an all-out press on Jose Reyes and hope to sign him before next week's Winter Meetings, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).
  • However, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark hears that the Marlins have made so little headway with Reyes that they could make a push for Aramis Ramirez (Twitter links). Agent Paul Kinzer acknowledges he has had some discussions with the Marlins, but says talks are now becoming serious with four teams.
  • The biggest obstacle preventing Mark Buehrle from signing in Miami is the team's reluctance to give him a no-trade clause, according to Rosenthal. The holdup in the talks may push the Marlins to pursue another free agent lefty, C.J. Wilson. The Rangers and Angels are also in the mix for Wilson, while the Nationals like both Wilson and Buehrle. Though Buehrle prefers the Midwest, he'd be happy to join former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen in the National League, Rosenthal reports.

Heyman On Buehrle, Garza, Reyes, Posada, Bell

Heath Bell isn’t close to signing, despite last night’s rumors, but it’s not for lack of interest. Here’s the latest on Bell and a handful of other free agents, via Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links):



Marlins Rumors: Wilson, Reyes, Buehrle, Balaguer

Here are some links from Miami, on the day that Robb Nen celebrates his 43rd birthday. Nen still holds the Marlins' franchise record with 108 saves…

  • "They rolled out the red carpet. They seem to have a plan and made it very clear they'd like [C.J. Wilson] to be a part of it," said Bob Garber, Wilson's agent, to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. The Marlins hosted the lefty at their new ballpark today. Garber wouldn't say if the team made an offer, but did say his client will "probably" make a decision during the winter meetings next week.
  • The sentiment is that Albert Pujols will return to the Cardinals, but Capozzi says the Marlins still hope to sign Jose Reyes and either Wilson or Mark Buehrle. It's also possible they'll try to add both starters.
  • The Marlins have interest in 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Yasiel Balaguer, reports Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (on Twitter). They will scout him this Wednesday in the Dominican Republic. Last year we heard about his "explosive speed and throwing arm."

Tigers Inquire On Mark Buehrle

The Tigers' rotation hasn't been considered a major concern, with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, and Rick Porcello under team control through at least 2014 and top prospect Jacob Turner waiting in the wings.  However, they're one of the many clubs inquiring on free agent lefty Mark Buehrle, reports Lynn Henning of the Detroit News.

The Tigers are familiar with Buehrle, since he made 34 career starts against them as a member of the White Sox.  In Henning's opinion, signing him would allow the Tigers to use  young pitching as trade bait.  The number of reported Buehrle suitors reaches 14 if you include the Tigers, though the White Sox and Cardinals were part of that Jim Bowden tweet and those clubs are not considered likely.

Elsewhere on the free agent front, Henning says the Tigers have been following Yoenis Cespedes for years.  Tigers vice president and director of amateur scouting David Chadd admits Cespdes is a "five-tool player."  In a more speculative sense, Henning thinks Kelly Johnson and Octavio Dotel may be Tigers targets.  The Tigers are known to have spoken with Aramis Ramirez's agent this month.


Marlins To Host Wilson On Monday

The Marlins will attempt to woo C.J. Wilson with a South Florida visit and stadium tour on Monday, writes Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.  Rodriguez writes that the Marlins are likely to put a bid in for Wilson considering that pitching is their top priority and the winter meetings are just around the corner.

Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Albert Pujols have already visited Miami and each free agent received an offer from the club.  Prince Fielder is about the only high-end free agent that the Marlins haven't hosted and nothing is scheduled yet, which may or may not speak to their interest level.

Buehrle got to check out the Marlins' new park well before Wilson, but that doesn't mean that Buehrle is higher on the club's board.  A source who spoke with a Marlins official in the early stages of the free agency period said he believed Miami preferred Wilson.


White Sox Underestimated Market For Buehrle

On Wednesday, the White Sox offered arbitration to Type B free agent Mark Buehrle, guaranteeing themselves compensation if he signs elsewhere.  Interest in the left-hander has skyrocketed this winter, with as many as thirteen teams reportedly in the mix for his services.  The White Sox weren't expecting this level of interest for Buehrle as they anticipated five or six teams going after him and a two-year deal being enough to retain him, a source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago-Sun Times.

With this amount of interest in Buehrle and the Nationals visiting the pitcher at his home in St. Louis this week, it would seem that the White Sox will have to act fast and offer a longer deal to retain him.  Earlier today, nearly 20% of MLBTR readers voted Buerhle as the next big free agent to sign.


Poll: Next Big Name Free Agent To Sign

Two big name free agents came off the board within the first three weeks of the offseason, as CC Sabathia signed an extension with the Yankees and Jonathan Papelbon joined the Phillies. The two power-hitting first baseman are still on the market (Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder), as are the high-end shortstops (Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes) and left-handed starters (Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson). Looking for pure offense? There’s also Carlos Beltran and David Ortiz.

The Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been a slow few days for the baseball hot stove, but think of it as the calm before the storm. The winter meetings are just over a week away, and clubs want to start patching the major holes on their rosters before the calendar flips to January. A full list of unsigned free agents can be found with our Free Agent Tracker, but only a select few qualify as big names. Which of those guys do you think will be the next to sign?


American League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll update them in this post throughout the day in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here

Updated team decisions:

Teams with decisions still due:


Nationals Visiting Buehrle At His Home Today

Nationals officials including GM Mike Rizzo are visiting free agent lefty Mark Buehrle and his agents at his home in St. Louis today, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  Kilgore says Buehrle is the team's top free agent choice.  Roy Oswalt seems to be Plan B.  The Nationals met with the agents for both pitchers at last week's GM Meetings.

Rizzo is looking for a horse, and the 32-year-old Buehrle fits the bill with 11 consecutive seasons of 201+ innings.  As I noted in October, the Nationals have front-end rotation talent in Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, but neither is likely to be an innings-eater in 2012.

Aside from the Nationals, the Marlins, Cubs, Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Royals, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, and Angels reportedly have interest in Buehrle.