Buehrle talks future; so does Plan No. 6

Sox stalwart says he doesn't want to discuss an extension after the season starts, and if I'm Kenny Williams, I would take my time.

On ESPN1000’s “Waddle & Silvy Show,” Mark Buehrle was asked about whether he would pitch after the 2011 season, and he maintained his noncommittal stance on signing another contract.
But if there was one news item to be gleaned from the interview, it’s that he’s open to discussing an extension before the season, but not during.

“It’ll probably be, which hopefully it’ll be just like everybody else, either we’ll talk in the offseason or into spring training, and once the season starts we’re not going to deal with it or make distractions for the team,” Buehrle said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “If something happens, hopefully it’ll be before the season or next offseason, but I don’t think there’s going to be any talks.”

He could change his mind, of course, but it seems like a reasonable stance regardless. And if I’m Kenny Williams, I wouldn’t press the issue, either.
Last October, I reviewed where everybody stood at the halfway point of Buehrle’s four-year, $56 million extension. My conclusion was that if Buehrle pitched well enough in the first three years of the deal, 2011 would essentially be a bonus year. Even if he turns in a stinker, it’s merely a short-term sacrifice for a smart business decision. A few paragraphs from that post:

Here’s my thinking: Reinsdorf would’ve only signed Buehrle to a three-year deal if they had their druthers. In that world, Buehrle would be up for another costly extension after 2010, which would be frought with peril for a soft-tosser.
But if No. 56 has another Buehrlesque show in 2010, it comes at no additional cost.  Instead, it gives the Sox one more year to see if and when the Decline Monster will take a bite out of Buehrle. If 2011 is the year he hits the wall, then so be it.
Buehrle’s contract is a lot like A.J. Pierzynski’s extension, in that it’s worth a lot more to the Sox than anyone else. There’s nothing wrong with that, because in a utopian state, a team should only sign players for itself.

Another way to look at it: Let’s say Buehrle signed a three-year, $42 extension the last time around, and he’s part of our offseason plan project. During his extension, he put up this performance:


This is a guy you’d want to offer arbitration to, because 200 innings of above-average starting pitching is really, really hard to find, so Buehrle would have plenty of multi-year takers. At the same time, it would be a pretty precarious negotiation process. Has he become more hittable? Is his sinking strikeout rate going to catch up to him? These are difficult questions to answer when the result is commitment of more than $30 million.
In Three-Year World, wouldn’t it be a welcome surprise if Buehrle spared the Sox from having to make that decision for one more year? Well, he effectively did when pen met paper on July 8, 2007.
Jerry Reinsdorf hates giving more than three years to a pitcher, but going out of his comfort zone has really worked out here. Buehrle is an exceedingly difficult pitcher to evaluate, and all the projection systems have basically given up on him, so it really requires some hard-nose scouting.
The fourth year gives Williams the much-needed luxury of time, and I’m guessing he’s going to take advantage of it. If I were in his position, I would take Buehrle’s temperature (not like that) before the season, but save the serious talk until after it.
The last time around, Buehrle was on the preferred side of 30 and, with his no-hitter, had provided one of the lone highlights in a lost season. The White Sox front office faced palpable public pressure. On Buehrle’s side, he and his wife had their first child on the way, so both sides wanted to take care of business before he reached the open market.
Considering his age, his slow decline and his open weighing of retirement, I don’t think there’s any rush. If he pitches well enough to earn his keep, I can’t imagine the Sox letting him go without a fight … unless he chooses St. Charles.
Before beginning with the next offseason plan, it’s worth noting that the reverse-engineering of the Elias free agent rankings worked for the White Sox, so we can conduct business as we’ve been doing it thus far.

Soxfan1’s 2011 White Sox offseason plan

1) Would you offer arbitration to:

  • A.J. Pierzynski? (Type A)
  • Paul Konerko? (Type A)
  • Manny Ramirez? (Type A)
  • J.J. Putz (Type B)

Offer arb to AJ & JJP only.
2) Would you pick up Ramon Castro’s $1.2 million option for 2011, or buy him out for $200,000?
Decline Castro’s option. (Note from Jim: This was submitted well before the Sox picked up his option, although there’s no reason people can continue to bypass Castro’s option for the sake of this exercise.)
CLUB CONTROL (explain if warranted)
3) One-year contract for John Danks?  If not, what would you pay to extend him?
Offer Danks $20mil for 2 years, if he declines just go to arbitration with him.
4) Would you tender a contract to Bobby Jenks?
Dump Jenks.
5) Would you tender a contract to Carlos Quentin?
Dump or trade Quentin.
6) Would you tender a contract to Tony Pena?
Dump Pena.
7) Which of the following impending White Sox free agents would you attempt to re-sign, and at what price:

  • Paul Konerko
  • A.J. Pierzynski — Offer A.J. $12 million for two years.
  • J.J. Putz — Offer Putz $10 million for two years.
  • Manny Ramirez — Offer Manny $10 million for one year with a club option for 2012.
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Andruw Jones
  • Freddy Garcia — Offer Freddy $5 million for one year with a club option for 2012.
  • Mark Kotsay

8) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, and at what price.
*Adam Dunn — Offer him $24 million for two years or $36 million for three.
*D.J. Carrasco — Offer $2 million for two years.

9) Sum it all up in a paragraph or nine, and give a ballpark estimate of the total payroll.
If everything works out the way I want it to my club would look like this:
1B – Adam Dunn
2B – Gordon Beckham
SS – Alexei Ramirez
3B – Brent Morel
C – A.J with Tyler Flowers as the backup.
Brent Lillibridge and Dayan Viciedo as reserve infielders.
LF – Juan Pierre
CF – Alex Rios
RF – Mark Teahen
Alejandro De Aza and/or other from farm as reserves.
DH – Manny Ramirez
SP – John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Freddy Garcia/Jake Peavy
RP – D.J. Carrasco, Sergio Santos, Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz, Chris Sale (closer), one other from farm.
I haven’t totaled up the salaries, but I think we can afford it. I like Paulie, but I think Manny will be better over the next two years. If I can’t get Manny or Dunn, then I offer Paulie a contract. If I can get only one of the three I’d go for Dunn as DH and play Viciedo at first base.
Also, need lots of luck!
Arizona Fall League:

  • Peoria 15, Phoenix 1 (7 1/2 innings, forfeit)
    • Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-4 with a triple, two walks and a strikeout.
    • Jared Mitchell went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.

As Striker informed us in the last thread, Mark Gonzales is in Arizona to report on Mitchell and Escobar.
On Mitchell!

Mitchell admitted he does feel some discomfort in his left ankle as the result of scar tissue, and two scouts said he has looked tentative at times on the base paths.
“Making turns are pretty good,” Mitchell said. “The only thing that bothers me a little bit is making a left-hand turn. I get a little bit of pain on the outside of my ankle. It’s just working through that. It’s getting better every day.
“I haven’t lost any speed. Everything will be fine. Right now my focus is getting at-bats, getting a chance to play and get acclimated to the game again.”

On Escobar:

Escobar wears the same jersey number 13 sported by Sox manager and country legend Ozzie Guillen. Escobar displayed his defensive skills in the fifth when he showed exceptional range and enough arm strength to retire Jose Pirela and quickly flipped to second baseman Kris Negron to start an inning-ending double play.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Before I say this, let me specify that I like Ozzie. He’s handled the pitchers incredibly well, which is just about the most important thing a manager can do, and I don’t take anything he says too seriously, so I’m happy he’s staying for 2011.
But if the Marlins seriously offered Mike Stanton, holy crap, YES, I’d have Ozzie on the next plane to Florida so fast even he would be speechless. Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.
But I can’t believe that was ever really on the table. Not saying DeLuca is lying or misstating anything, but whoever told him that had to be exaggerating. Even Loria isn’t that stupid.
Is he?


I am hesitant to believe this was offered by FLA and declined by CWS.
If so, I’d have a heart attack.
In fact, just thinking about the possibility has me feeling chest pains.


The only reason the ozzie for stanton trade wasnt made is that kenny williams suffered a heart attack when offered such a situation, the chance to get rid of his headache ozzie and gain a 40 homer 20 year old SUPERSTAR in the making was too much for his heart to handle.


Plan 6: Massive over pay for manny, aj, and garcia, about right on dunn although i think he will get more and about right on putz, problem is this is about a 130 million dollar payroll club.


@jim- the buerhle and aj situation being similiar because they are both worth more to the sox then other teams, I find to be only true for AJ and absolutely false for MB. If mark goes to the national league he becomes a much much much more valuable player for another team.


FYI-Adam Dunn officially Type A


wow really, the reverse engineering needs some tweaking i guess


Agree with Knox, massive overpayment on Manny, AJ, and Garcia. Reinsdorf would have an aneurism if he saw this on an offer sheet. Likely an overpayment on Putz and Danks too, but not so massive.
Garcia could have a place on the team in long-relief and spot starter — for about $1.5mil or see-ya’. Wouldn’t want Manny for cheap and $10 is probably double what anyone will pay him. It’s doubtful he’s flooded with offers which will come ONLY from AL teams.
Agreed, this team with cost $130M+.


Boras usually does but Andru Jones got 30,000 less then Dwayne Wise got for the same role a year earlier with the whitesox.
Im with Rick, manny settles for 1 year base pay 4-5 mil, with maybe another 3-4 mil in some pretty steep incentives.


I’m not sure I want Dunn’s rock hands scooping short hops at first anyway. Dunn seems like a fit on paper, but I think in reality this guy is going to be a nightmare on the field defensively. Remember how we’d cringe on balls hit to right in 2008-09?
Soxfan1’s plan seems to overpay everyone, but I’d like to thank him for submitting it anyway.


To Dunn’s credit, as Jim pointed out before, Dunn is still somewhat new to 1B. So he may be improving with experience.
I like to use TangoTiger’s Community Scouting Report to get an idea of a player’s defense prowess who I don’t get to watch on a regular basis. The scores should be reliable since they are done by baseball-savvy fans who watch a large percentage of their team’s games.
For 2010, Dunn’s community score was 22 out of 100 (50 being average) which makes him 42 out of 46 players receiving enough votes. For comparison’s sake, Konerko got a 51. Dunn’s 2009 score was 24.
In the hands/catching category, most important to first basemen, Dunn got a 14, which was the worst score out of all. Konerko got a 76. I still have to think Dunn would lose more value playing 1B full-time than the five runs above replacement given back by being DH.


Thx for the comments on my plan. I listed my amounts as the highest I would go for each player, so I don’t think it’s a massive overpay.
I think my team could win 90+ games and be in contention all year. I’d pay $130 Mil for that!!