The White Sox decided Sunday afternoon that there will be no more contract talks. The declaration surely applies to impending free agents Mark Buehrle, Jermaine Dye, and Tadahito Iguchi.
Assuming Carlos Zambrano signs, Buehrle will hit the free agent market as the youngest starting pitcher. He’s got a better track record than the somewhat comparable Jason Jennings, but that comes with more mileage. Buehrle has averaged 221 innings over the past six seasons, while Jennings has averaged 180 over the past five.
Dye may vie for attention among free agent hitters like Adam Dunn, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, and Bobby Abreu. Dunn and Abreu have fairly reasonable team options, so there may only be A-Rod and Jones in Dye’s realm. Since Dye will be 34 heading into the 2008 season, he may sign a three-year deal. That’d make him the top option for teams looking to keep it under $60MM but add an impact hitter.
Iguchi will be up against Marcus Giles and Luis Castillo, most likely. He’s the steadiest performer of the three and second base isn’t as deep as last year, so he should have no problems getting around $15MM over three seasons.
The 2008 Sox could use Ryan Sweeney and Josh Fields at the outfield corners. They’ve stocked up on arms to fill Buehrle’s spot. I could see the White Sox bringing Iguchi back, but maybe they’d give second base to Pablo Ozuna failing that.