Buehrle feels Williams said directly that the southpaw would not be back with the Sox in ’08. It seems that Williams alluded to that in a more roundabout way, however. Bottom line: both parties seem to agree that Buehrle will price himself out of the White Sox’s range.
The lefty needs a major bounce-back season to snag the huge deal he seemed in line for before 2006. He posted a 6.44 ERA in the second half of ’06. He’ll probably give the Cardinals a decent hometown discount and eventually work something out with Walt Jocketty. Still, would he take less than five years and $60MM?
The Cardinals could easily be Buehrle’s third team, as Williams might want to exchange Buehrle for some nice prospects before 2007 ends. A lot will depend on the development of young pitchers and the team’s place in the standings.