Mark Buehrle Rumors
The Marlins' heavy offseason spending continued today, as they agreed to sign lefty Mark Buehrle to a four-year, $58MM deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The durable lefty will head to the National League for the first time in his career to bolster Miami's rotation. Buehrle, who spent his entire career with the White Sox after being drafted in the 38th round in 1998, follows former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to Miami. This offseason, the Marlins have shocked baseball by committing $191MM to Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell in preparation of the opening of their new stadium next year.
The contract represents a slight bump from Buehrle's previous deal. He's represented by Jeff Berry of CAA Sports. Buehrle, 32, has been remarkably consistent, pitching at least 201 innings in every season since 2001. Buehrle has a pitch-to-contact style, as his 5.1 career strikeout rate attests, and his career ERA is 3.83. He joins Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco in what could be an excellent Marlins rotation.
The Nationals were the other finalist for Buehrle, reportedly offering three years and $42-45MM. The Rangers also topped out at three years. In addition to Buehrle, the Marlins had been bidding on C.J. Wilson. Buehrle was quickly priced out of the White Sox' range, and they'll get a supplemental draft pick for losing the fan favorite.
MLBTR writers Steve Adams and Zach Links correctly predicted in November that Buehrle would sign with the Marlins. Check out our free agent prediction contest leaderboard here.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
The latest on free agent southpaw Mark Buehrle...
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo made it pretty clear Buehrle is his only free agent pitching target, reports Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com. The Nationals are waiting for Buehrle to make a decision, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The Nationals offered three years and $42-45MM, tweets Pete Kerzel of MASNSports.com.
- The Nationals and Marlins are finalists for Buehrle, tweets Ken Rosenthal. Rangers president Nolan Ryan does not expect to land Buehrle, tweets Jon Paul Morosi.
- The Nationals are still in play and talks have intensified, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Marlins are definitely still in on Buehrle, tweets Danny Knobler.
- Buehrle has narrowed the field to three teams and is expected to decide within 24 hours, tweets Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com.
- Look for the Marlins to go hard after Buehrle as soon as possible if they don't land Albert Pujols, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
Yesterday we learned that four teams -- the Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, and Twins -- have made offers to long-time White Sox southpaw Mark Buehrle. We'll run down all of the rumors surrounding the man with 11 straight seasons of 201+ innings here...
- Buehrle doesn't seem to be a real option for the Cardinals, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest.
- Buehrle is seeking a four-year deal, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan and Bill Ladson.
- The Rangers and Nationals are the most serious and realistic destinations for Buehrle, hears Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo feels there was a connection when he met with Buehrle.
- MLB.com's Anthony DiComo suggests the Mets are a surprising finalist for Buehrle, but GM Sandy Alderson seemed to shoot down the notion of spending big bucks on a free agent starter. Alderson flat-out said it's not happening, according to Adam Rubin.
- Buehrle has narrowed the field to five teams, tweets MLB Network's Jon Heyman. The Rangers and Marlins are believed among them, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Nationals are another, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
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."