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Mark Buehrle Rumors
The latest on free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle…
- An NL executive speculated to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link) that the first team to offer Buehrle four years might get him. Meanwhile, Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio tweets that another one of the 14 teams interested in the lefty just extended a first offer.
- The Twins, Nationals, Marlins, and Rangers are in on Buehrle, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but the Twins' offer is not as strong as the others. The other teams are believed to be in the three-year, $36-39MM range. Yesterday, we learned that Buehrle is the Nationals' top target and the Marlins have made him a strong offer. The inclusion of a no-trade clause will be a factor.
The latest Tigers info…
- The Tigers would like to add a leadoff hitter, but they're unsure free agent Coco Crisp is the right guy, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The 32-year-old posted one of the worst OBPs of his career in 2011, with a .314 mark.
- The Tigers aren't pursuing free agent starter Mark Buehrle right now, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. They're more likely to acquire a fifth starter type.
- The Tigers announced they've outrighted first baseman Ryan Strieby to Triple-A, leaving 39 players on the 40-man roster.
Earlier today, we heard that three teams have offers to Mark Buehrle. All three teams are offering the years and dollars that Buehrle is seeking, but he's yet to receive an offer that contains a no-trade clause. More on Buehrle as the rumors pile up:
- The Nationals have made it clear that Buehrle is their top target, writes ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Nationals made an offer to Buehrle, MLB.com's Bill Ladson has confirmed (via Twitter). Roy Oswalt is still in the mix as well.
- The Marlins' offer to Buehrle is considered "a very strong one," and likely makes the club the current frontrunner, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com. The White Sox remain in a quiet holding pattern but it should be noted that they would be willing to give the veteran a no-trade clause, as that's something they've done in the past.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel examines the Marlins' team policy of not including no-trade clauses in their contracts and wonders if an exception should be made for Buehrle (or other top free agents).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Rangers, Nationals, and Marlins are being the most aggressive on Buehrle. Washington prefers a shorter deal with Buehrle to a longer contract with C.J. Wilson.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Buehrle is seeking $14MM annually. There are indeed 14 teams interested in Buehrle according to Heyman, and he calls the Twins and Diamondbacks "surprise entrants" while noting that the asking price is prohibitive for them.
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.
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.
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):
- The Red Sox are content to wait out the market for closers, since so many of them are available.
- Mark Buehrle is drawing interest from 14 teams, Heyman reports.
- Opposing GMs expect the Cubs to trade Matt Garza.
- The Mets would offer Jose Reyes $80MM for five years, but would not guarantee a six or seven-year contract.
- Jorge Posada inquired with the Mets about a job and heard the team wasn't interested, according to Heyman. However, agent Seth Levinson told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that "there is no truth to that report. None" (Twitter link).
- The Marlins met with Bell and seem very aggressive. “This is no publicity stunt,” Heyman writes.
- Miami was interested in meeting with free agent closer Ryan Madson, but the right-hander declined, since their offer “wasn’t right.”
- The Mets and Orioles are among the teams showing interest in Jason Varitek, Heyman writes. The Orioles are definitely looking for backup catching help, but it appeared earlier in the week that they were uninterested in Varitek. GM Dan Duquette favors players who could catch every day if necessary.
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."
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.
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.
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.