Mark Buehrle Rumors
- You can add Roy Oswalt to the list of veteran starters that the Diamondbacks have at least some level of interest in, Piecoro tweets.
- Joe Saunders, a non-tender candidate with a projected 2012 salary of $8.7MM, told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he hopes to return next year. Saunders, who prides himself on his ability to log innings and pitch deep into games, has averaged 200 innings per season since 2008.
- The D'Backs appear to have interest in free agents Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Buehrle, according to Piecoro (on Twitter). Kuroda's name has come up as a possible fit for Arizona, but this is the first time we've seen the D'Backs connected to Buehrle
- The D'Backs announced earlier today that they sold Kameron Mickolio to the Hiroshima Carp.
The Miami Marlins were officially born yesterday, and they grabbed some headlines by extending contract offers to free agents Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, and Mark Buehrle. They also expressed some interest in Ryan Madson. Let's round up the latest from South Beach...
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports that Reyes "loved his visit" to the team's new ballpark this past Wednesday, and he would like to play in Miami. SI.com's Heyman hears that Reyes is the team's top free agent target (Twitter link).
- Within the same piece, Frisaro says that people connected to the team have told him that their offer to Pujols "probably isn’t close to being enough" to land the free agent slugger.
- Talks with Reyes, Pujols, Madson, and Buehrle are "preliminary" according to Heyman (on Twitter), so there's no threat of all four players accepting offers.
- ESPN's Buster Olney called the Marlins' strategy fascinating (on Twitter), but cautions that it is risky. The 1997 team also went for quick fixes, then had to tear it all down immediately after winning the World Series.
9:51pm: Loria confirmed the club made the offers, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Marlins president David Samson, however, said the team had no official comment. When asked if the club could afford all three players, Samson said “It’s a problem we never suspected could happen. That’s the true answer.”
5:03pm: The Marlins have made "substantial offers" to both Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and have also offered a contract to Mark Buehrle, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (both Twitter links). The team met with Pujols today, Reyes on Wednesday and Buehrle on Tuesday but apparently already felt comfortable enough to make contract offers, though Heyman reports there is "nothing close" to a deal with any of the three.
Miami's aggressiveness is no surprise, given how the Marlins have been in hot pursuit of several top free agents already this offseason. It's unlikely that Pujols, Reyes or Buehrle would sign so early without fully exploring the market for their services, though a blow-away offer from the Marlins could change their minds.
The Marlins' payroll was expected to increase by as much as $35MM this winter, but signing Pujols, Reyes and Buehrle would add at least $60MM to the 2012 payroll. That's a big outlay for three players --- to put it in perspective, Cot's Baseball Contracts lists the entire Marlins payroll for 2011 as just under $57.7MM. Given how committed Jeffrey Loria is to put a competitive team into his new ballpark, we may have been conservative with our estimates about how much the Marlins are willing to spend this winter.
A few odds and ends from the Windy City as Thursday winds down ...
- White Sox GM Ken Williams said today that the South Siders' 2012 payroll would be "a little bit less" than 2011's $127MM figure, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Williams also added that he has had dialogue with free agent starter Mark Buehrle but didn't offer much in regards to whether the lefty might re-sign with the only team for which he's pitched: "All we can do is wait until we get to the winter meetings and then have a better idea of where we sit and where he sits and see if there’s a match,” Williams said.
- Cubs president Theo Epstein said the North Siders are in the "sixth inning" of their search for a new manager, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. So far, Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum and Mike Maddux have interviewed for the position, and Sandy Alomar Jr. is slated to interview on Friday.
- Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona badly wants to manage the Cubs, a source very close to Francona tells Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune. Epstein has said that Francona probably wouldn't have to go through a formal interview if the Cubs wanted to award him the job, but right now it is unknown whether Francona is being seriously considered for the position.
The White Sox went all-in in 2011, only to finish with a disappointing 79-83 record. Here's the latest on the team as preparations for Robin Ventura's first season in the dugout begin...
- Mark Buehrle has told the White Sox he's not going to give them a hometown discount, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter). Approximately ten teams, including the Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers are interested in the left-hander.
- The White Sox are drawing trade interest in John Danks and Gavin Floyd, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Large-market teams may be drawn to Danks, the more expensive of the two, while small-market teams may prefer Floyd, who will earn $7MM in 2012 and can be retained for $9.5MM with a club option for 2013.
- The Rangers are believed to be interested in Danks, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Texas selected Danks with the ninth overall pick of the 2003 draft and traded him to Chicago for Brandon McCarthy in 2006.
- Outfielder Carlos Quentin may be the most likely White Sox player to be traded, as Rosenthal points out.
- The White Sox also announced that they signed left-handers Donnie Veal and Jose Quintana.
Just like last year, the Marlins are being aggressive early in the offseason. But this time instead of quickly signing John Buck and Javier Vazquez and shipping out Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, and Andrew Miller, the new Miami Marlins are wooing top free agents. The latest:
- Marlins president David Samson said on the Dan Le Batard show on 790 the Ticket that the team hasn't reached out to Prince Fielder (Twitter links via MLB.com's Joe Frisaro).
- Samson wouldn't comment on Albert Pujols, but he confirmed that Reyes is one of the Marlins' "priorities."
- Mark Buehrle toured the Marlins' new ballpark and caught up with his former manager Ozzie Guillen in a daylong visit yesterday, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Ace Josh Johnson commented, "It would be great for the team as a whole. He's a leader in the clubhouse and would really help out the rotation."
- Buehrle is a better bet to perform over the course of a free agent deal than C.J. Wilson, according to team executives who responded to a poll question posed by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Responders voted 14 to 8 in favor of Buehrle. A GM told Crasnick, "I know C.J. Wilson is a great story, and he's obviously pitched well. But I don't see knockout stuff, and his arm action concerns me a little bit. Buehrle quietly has been pretty rock-solid for a long time. He works fast and throws with no effort. His recipe seems built to last."
- Marlins president David Samson appeared on MLB Network Radio this morning with Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy, and Capozzi has a transcript. In regard to free-agent-to-be Yoenis Cespedes, Samson said, "Obviously he is a special guy. We’ve had some guys seeing him. We’re going to see him again. It’s not too often you can get an impact player like that as a free agent but again in our market at a position like center field with a bat that he has, that would seem like a good fit." The Marlins are sending a contingent to the Dominican Republic for a private workout with the Cuban center fielder tomorrow, in fact.
- Guillen has been very helpful in recruiting free agents, according to Samson. The Marlins are meeting with Jose Reyes today, and one Mets person told John Harper of the New York Daily News the Marlins plan to offer Reyes a high-salary, three-year deal. Personally, I don't think the Marlins will limit their offers to three years.
- I heard today that while Japan's Yomiuri Giants inquired on free agent and former Marlins top prospect Jeremy Hermida, he's looking to stay in MLB.
The Rangers are aggressively exploring possible deals for free agent starters and closers, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Texas' front office is considering other options and while pitching remains the' top offseason priority, Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols could tempt GM Jon Daniels, according to Sullivan.
The Rangers have expressed preliminary interest in free agent starters such as Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt. Rangers officials acknowledged interest in Oswalt, who is drawing substantial early attention despite back issues that landed him on the disabled list twice in 2011. C.J. Wilson is a free agent and the Rangers could convert Neftali Feliz to the rotation, so there's lots of uncertainty when it comes to Texas' 2012 pitching staff.
6:05pm: It's highly unlikely that the Yankees will make a serious run for Buehrle, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
1:54pm: The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers are interested in free agent lefty Mark Buehrle, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and the Marlins are meeting with him today. Buehrle, 32, posted a 3.59 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.92 HR/9, and 44.9% groundball rate in 205 1/3 innings this year. The long time White Sox starter has pitched 200+ innings in every season since 2001.
The Marlins and Blue Jays are the teams most aggressively pursuing trades for starting pitchers, add Rosenthal and Morosi. One GM said of the Jays' Alex Anthopoulos, "You can’t pin him down. He has interest in every one of your players."
James Shields, Wade Davis, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Jair Jurrjens, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chad Billingsley, and Wandy Rodriguez are the pitchers "known or thought to be available in trades," according to the FOX writers. Cahill and Billingsley are the new names here, but it's unclear whether they fall under "known" or "thought." The availability of Rodriguez will depend on whether Jim Crane is approved as new Astros owner next week, as Crane does not share Drayton McLane's reluctance to move the 32-year-old.
The Marlins, who already obtained manager Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox this offseason, are now pursuing the most dependable starter the skipper had in Chicago, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Marlins will meet with free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle tomorrow.
Rosenthal reported earlier today that adding left-handed starting pitching is the Marlins' top offseason priority. C.J. Wilson, another free agent left-hander, concerns the Marlins because of his postseason control issues, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
The Marlins aren't shying away from other top free agents. They have Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols on their radar and, according to Rosenthal, will meet with Jose Reyes Wednesday and Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes Thursday. Pujols, Fielder, Reyes and Wilson are Type A free agents, while Buehrle qualifies as a Type B. He wouldn't cost the Marlins a 2012 draft pick and neither would Cespedes.
Terry Ryan is officially the interim general manager of the Twins, but Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the longtime GM is recharged and may stay a while (Twitter link). Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors from SI.com:
- The Mets have discussed Angel Pagan as a non-tender candidate, but they intend to offer him arbitration, according to Heyman (on Twitter). MLBTR projects a $4.7MM salary for the center fielder in 2012.
- Meanwhile, Chris Capuano is looking for a two-year deal, but the Mets prefer one-year bargains (Twitter link).
- The Braves are looking for a Zack Greinke-like return in a deal for Jair Jurrjens, according to Heyman (on Twitter). The Royals obtained Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jeremy Jeffress for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt last offseason.
- Twins executive Mike Radcliff and Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer weren’t that interested in the Orioles’ GM job, according to Heyman. The Orioles requested permission to interview them both, but the Twins denied the request and the Orioles hired Dan Duquette before setting anything up with Oppenheimer.
- It's believed that Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava got a raise to stay in Toronto, according to Heyman.
- It’s hard to tell Boston’s list of managerial candidates apart from the one the Cubs have, as Heyman explains.
- It doesn’t appear that the Cardinals will be able to boost their nine-year, $200MM offer to Albert Pujols by much.
- Ryan Madson is drawing lots of interest and the Red Sox, Phillies, Nationals, Rangers and Marlins are believed to be interested.
- C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson, Mark Buehrle and Roy Oswalt are drawing lots of interest, as expected.
- Heyman hears that Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is pushing for Prince Fielder or Pujols. The Marlins have also expressed early interest in Jose Reyes.