Should Mark Buehrle be Traded this Off-Season?


For this edition of Big League Chew, Shaun Doyle (@JaysFromCouch) and I (@MuellerRyan11) wanted to look at Richard Griffin’s, Toronto Star Baseball columnist, article on Blue Jays should trade Mark Buehrle to take the next step’.  We wanted to look at it from the perspective of a reliability vs sell high perspective.

RM: I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I love what Buehrle stands for and represents, on the other hand, trading him would free up money, a rosters spot, and bring back a prospect or two . Throughout Mark’s career, he has proven to be a guy that just goes out every 5 days and throws, he is a guy that you can depend on, but most of all he is a someone that the younger pitchers can lean on and look up to……what more can you ask for. You can’t trade a guy like that.

SD:  The hell you can’t! Those are perfectly good reasons to trade him. In fact, they may be the selling points. His consistency, check out our very own Kyle Franzoni piece, is what I’d be starting with. 200 innings and 13 or so wins. Then add in his leadership. That is a fairly attractive package. The only draw back is his salary. I think we can forget about Rogers eating some of it. So, finding a team that will pay it will be the only trick. For that reason, we probably wouldn’t get a good haul for Buehrle. I’d target a second baseman. A real one. A proven one. We have Sean Nolin, Daniel Norris, Kendall Graveman, Aaron Sanchez. Do you think those 4 can’t combine to give 13 wins? I like Marky Mark, but his contract makes him more than expendable. That money will be needed elsewhere. You know, since Rogers has none.

RM: it wouldn’t surprise me that the pitchers you mentioned totalled over 13, but it could take twice the appearances. I don’t see Buehrle fetching a full-time infielder, one to one. I would imagine that a Matt Boyd or Scott Copeland and maybe a Dawel Lugo would have to be included to convince a team to take on Buehrle’s contract. I wouldn’t be willing to do that. 

SD: I don’t think it would take twice the appearances. Buehrle gives 200 innings and 32 starts. I think the combo of young arms above can meet that and give the same amount of wins, if not more. Of course, we are basing a lot of this on wins and innings. There is so much more to pitching than that. Buehrle is leading the league with 228 hits surrendered. His WHIP of 1.356 would be easy for the young guns to beat. Are you telling me that you’d rather spend $19M to get those numbers? Buehrle may not fetch a top flight second baseman on a one to one deal. But, at this point, we don’t need a Robinson Cano. We need a serviceable, everyday player. He doesn’t have to be the best. He just has to be better than what we have. That isn’t as expensive as you think. Buehrle could bring in a solid player. There are teams who would love to have his consistency. And, if the Blue Jays can unload that contract, they have money to spend elsewhere.

RM: Everything you say makes perfect sense if your playing MLB The Show. My argument to replacing Buehrle with Norris or Sanchez can be made in two words, Tommy John. Both guys are young, throw hard, and there have been concerns about the amount of stress their deliveries put on their arms. But all four have never pitched a full season in the Majors so they are a gamble, with any luck one will be successful. If you expect to contend next year than that is a big gamble.

SD: Well, I guess I’m all in. You’ve been preaching for a long time about how great these kids are. It’s show time. I’m confident in them. Yes, there will be a learning curve for them. Yes, they will struggle. But, we need to remember that Buehrle has won, what, 3 games since July? Come on, now. Does that say contender to you? Let the kids get their chance. But, I can see your point about injuries and all that. You know…if you’re a worrier. $19M is an awfully high price to pay for insurance, though. And, we have a lot of arms ready as young, cheap insurance. At the end of the day, do the Blue Jays NEED Mark Buehrle? Nope.

RM: You have me convinced. Trade away. Next year’s rotation will be Stroman, Dickey, Hutchison, Sanchez and Happ? Or are you suggesting that another veteran pitcher at a cheaper cost would be added with the millions saved from moving Mark or should we bank on our boy Rickey Romero making a comeback (I joke I joke I kid I kid).

SD: A rotation of R.A. Dickey (although, I’d look to trade him too), Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, Aaron Sanchez and one of (or a combination of) Daniel Norris, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, etc Yes. That is what I’m saying. Happ too. Remember, though I’m not just sending Buehrle away for nothing. If I can get a second baseman (or a third baseman so Brett Lawrie can move to 2B) back who can hit, get on base, etc, then I do it. It will make the team better…and more affordable for poor, strapped Rogers.

RM: Trade away R.A. too? So you want to contend for the ALE with a rotation with an average age of 22.8 years old. That would make Drew Hutchison at 24 years old and 42 starts the vet of the staff, I’m not comfortable with that. In a couple years this rotation would still be too young. We need to have some vet to preach words of wisdom in the ears of these babes. Trading one of R.A. and Mark would be alright, but both of them is too much too soon.

SD: I never said trade him TOO. I’d look into it though. Although, I agree that a veteran is important. But I’d the price is right, you can’t be afraid to pull the trigger. It’s put up or shut up time.

Last Word

RM: I am a chicken s@#t when it comes to trades. I don’t see a Buehrle trade in the future. I also don’t see R.A. Dickey being traded either. It is my option that AA will ride with the team he has for the next two seasons, which will see the end of contracts to Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Dickey, Macier Izturis, Adam Lind (if his option is picked up next year), and Beuhle (’15). Just ride it out with these guys and let the young guys develop with solid mentors. 


SD: I’m a little less chicken sh***y when what you have hasn’t been working. Change is necessary. If Buehrle can net you a decent upgrade elsewhere, it should be done. Send him and his pit bull off with well wishes. The goal should always be to make the team better. If trading Buehrle and his consistency can improve the team, you have to do it. Anyone else for that matter. As for the offseason, AA is going to be busy. I think he’ll surprise us all and land a couple guys here and there. Jays in 2015!