From Jermaine Dye’s point of view, it may have been odd to see the White Sox negotiate a contract extension with Javier Vazquez on Tuesday. After talking to the club earlier, Dye’s agent told the outfielder that the Sox would not talk contract extension with any player before the end of the season. The Daily Herald says he might accept less than Carlos Lee’s 6/100 package. I think the Sox might consider 4/60 but he’s a long shot to re-sign.
And then there’s Mark Buehrle, whose situation is more directly related to Vazquez since both are starters. It’s pretty clear that Buehrle wants at least four years, and the Sox have their unofficial policy to limit pitcher contracts to three. Both sides are saying their doors are open. It’s kind of like being on a job interview when the company asks your salary expectations. Neither side wants to blink first.
I know there is going to be some level of outrage/disappointment in Chicago when Buehrle hops over to the Cardinals or some other club after the season, especially if he bounces back to post an ERA around 4. He was a huge part of the World Series team. But sentiment should not get in the way of reality. I think the team’s three-year policy is excellent. I’m sure they’d bend on it if the right pitcher came along at the right price, but Buehrle isn’t it.
The Sox have Buehrle’s best seasons in the bank, and the price was reasonable. Locking him up for his age 29-32 seasons as a reward for that isn’t good business. It’s nothing personal. Kenny Williams’s limit was probably the 3/30 offer he made last summer. He was right to draw the line there.
You can question whether the Garcia/McCarthy deals made sense – the Sox are trying to have their cake and eat it too by winning and rebuilding simultaneously. You have to admire them for trying and for Williams’s foresight. Re-signing Buehrle or Dye at anything near the market rate just doesn’t make sense.