Is Mark Buehrle Available in Trade?


Buried deep within an article that features more talk about Andrew Freidman, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe drops a Blue Jays note. He says that starter Mark Buehrle WILL be made available via trade this winter. I’d call it a bombshell, but it is significantly less earth shattering than that. In particular since there doesn’t appear to be any mention of where he gets his info.

Regardless, Cafarrdo says that “Buehrle will be made available in a trade, though his $19 million contract will likely be a deterrent unless the Jays are willing to assume part of it. The Jays need to replenish their player depth and the quick-working Buehrle might be a way to do it.”

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Again, there is no source mentioned for this, but it seems odd for a couple reasons. Firstly, he suggests that the Blue Jays will have to eat some of Marky Mark’s $19M contract to facilitate this deal. It strikes me as odd every time someone outside of Toronto casually suggests (like it’s no big deal) that the Blue Jays would pay salary for a player they don’t have any more. It’s like they forget about the financial limitations the club seems to operate under.

Secondly, Cafardo also suggests that it would be OK to trade Buehrle because the Blue Jays rotation already has Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez as well as J.A. Happ. He assumes retaining Happ is a done deal. Did we miss something? When did the club announce it would indeed pick up the $6.7M option? It seems likely they would, but we should not jump to conclusions just yet. 

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  • Thirdly, even if the option is picked up and Happ is in the rotation, do we really think that the Blue Jays would be comfortable with a rotation of R.A. Dickey (who Cafardo says is a less appealing trade target), Stroman, Sanchez and Happ? I assume he is including Drew Hutchison as the other starter. Is this the rotation that improves the team?

    Can the Blue Jays really get by without him? He had a brilliant starts to the 2014 season until he came crashing down to earth. Yet, he finished 13-10 with a 3.39 ERA and threw 200+ innings for the 14th consecutive season. His durability alone is sure to draw interest. He was an All Star this year and is a finalist for a Gold Glove. This past season, he showed that, at 35, he still has the stuff to compete. So, there may very well be teams who check in on him.

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    Obviously, this time of year brings lots of speculation about potential wheeling and dealing. It makes sense that the Blue Jays may try and cut costs by moving hefty contracts. Buehrle’s is certainly one of those. But, if the Blue Jays are so desperate to cut costs, would they actually pay to have Mark Buehrle pitch elsewhere? Given his contract, is Buehrle actually “more tradable than knuckleballer R.A. Dickey” as Cafardo states? Would the Blue Jays even consider trading either of them without a top rotation starter to replace them? Do they think Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez are those guys?

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