Today In Pitching Rumors: Buehrle & Sanchez


Via Ken Rosenthal and Mark Feinsand, the Yankees are among a number of teams interested in free agent southpaw Mark Buehrle. Brian Cashman has at least put a call into Buehrle’s agent, just like he as with Edwin Jackson, C.J. Wilson, and Roy Oswalt, but the GM confirmed that no offers have been made to anyone yet. The lefty’s value in his durability, we’re talking eleven straight years of 30+ starts and 200+ innings. The Yankees can use some reliability, but these soft-tossing, no strikeout guys scare the crap out of me.

In other news, Jon Heyman says the Yankees were disappointed to see Jonathan Sanchez get trading to the Royals simply because they felt they had more to offer in a trade. I’m not sure why the Yankees would be interested in Sanchez … I mean yeah he strikes out a ton of guys, but he also walks more batters than anyone else, gives up a ton of fly balls, and is in the middle of a three-year velocity decline. All that for the low, low price of about $6M next season. Consider this a bullet dodged.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • Jesse

    I agree with Mike. Bullet dodged in regards to Sanchez. The walks are way too high, and I didn’t know about the velocity decline but that’s another good reason to stay away.

  • Craig Maduro

    I don’t mind Buehrle as long as the Yankees don’t offer him a contract that is representative of a No. 2 pitcher. I know he filled the role of ace in Chicago, but the AL (b)East is a completely different animal over the course of a full season. I think he’s a No. 3 at best.

    As far as Sanchez, I’m in the same boat. If the Yanks were that interested in Sanchez, they might as well just give Banuelos a shot at the rotation.

    • Holy Ghost

      “I don’t mind Buehrle as long as the Yankees don’t offer him a contract that is representative of a No. 2 pitcher. I know he filled the role of ace in Chicago, but the AL (b)East is a completely different animal over the course of a full season. I think he’s a No. 3 at best.”

      In a 5-man rotation, is there ‘that’ much of a difference between the #2 and #3 starters?

      Buehrle isn’t an ace, I’ll give you that. But I think he can reliably give a team like the Yankees 190+ innings and 14 to 17 wins. That sounds like a #2/#3 guy to me.

      Of course, his age is probably the biggest reason to avoid signing him for more than 2 to 3 years.

      • Craig Maduro

        Fair question. I think the difference between a No. 2 and No. 3 is probably up for interpretation. Personally, I think of a No. 2 as someone who is a couple of shades away from a No. 1. Someone that can go out and dominate more than an average share of games – i.e. the A.J. Burnett that we thought/hoped we were getting.

        As far as a No. 3, I think of someone unspectacular who is going to be consistent and keep the team in most games, but not really the type of guy that can go toe-to-toe with the game’s elite. That’s where Buehrle falls in my eyes.

        I guess I’m just a little more attached to the “profile” of a No. 2 starter.

        • Ted Nelson

          How on earth is Buehrle not a #2 starter? Guys has pitched 200+ IP 11 straight years and had an ERA under 4 in 8 of those seasons.

          Let’s see some evidence if you really think the AL Central is that much worse than the AL East, and has been since 2001.

          I can buy an age/decline argument on Buehrle, but the guy has been elite for a long time now.

          • Craig Maduro

            A career 4.13 FIP, a career 5.07 K/9, career HR rate of one (.995 to be exact), career 1.28 WHIP and an 86 mph fastball. Nowhere did I say he was a bad starter, but I see a No. 3. Maybe my standards are just higher.

            The AL Central is an inferior division to the AL (b)East. There should be no argument there. In your words, though, is it “that” much worse? You be the judge:

            Combined AL (b)East OPS (minus Yankees)
            2011 – .748
            2010 – .748
            2009 – .777

            Combined AL Central OPS (minus White Sox)
            2011 – .724
            2010 – .736
            2009 – .750

            That is obviously just one offensive statistic, but even before you consider numbers, I think most (maybe not all) people would look at the presence of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays and agree that the Yankees play in the best division in baseball.

      • KeithK

        In terms of on field role there isn’t much difference between the first four spots in the rotation (during the 162 anyway0. They each have to go out and pitch every fifth day and probably aren’t going to get skipped often like a $5 will be. The difference is dollars/years.

        • Holy Ghost


        • Craig Maduro

          Yea, that is a good point that I’ve ignored up until now. Buehrle will certainly take the ball each turn. I still don’t regard him as the No. 2 that we’ve all been wanting, but as you point out, maybe that doesn’t matter so much.

  • Chris

    I’m supposed to trust a guy who can’t pitch in the nl west to pitch in the al east? Def glad we didn’t get him

  • FIPster Doofus

    I’d love Buehrle if the amount of years in the contract is reasonable.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    I think I’d sign up for Buerhle instead of Freddy for next season, but it also fully could be a case of falling for the sexier name.

    • Slugger27

      well, hes a sexier name because hes better. lets not lose sight of that.

      • Plank

        Not talking about the man, but empirically, Buerhle has to be one of the least sexiest names ever.

  • Robert

    Could Sanchez be a successful relief pitcher?

  • Brian S.

    Heyman said it so I doubt the validity of this report.

  • crawdaddie

    Other media sources are saying the Yankees weren’t exactly hot for Sanchez and that Heyman’s report should be taken with a grain of salt due to concerns about Sanchez’s walks.

  • Ted Nelson

    “The lefty’s value in his durability, we’re talking eleven straight years of 30+ starts and 200+ innings.”

    From 2003-10 the Yankees had only 5 different pitchers (CC, Mussina, Clemens, Johnson, and Wang) give them 150+ IP with an ERA below 4. Buehrle has done it 4 of the past 5 and 8 of the last 11.

    • Ted Nelson

      Point being it’s not just the innings. Guy is quality.

      • Plank

        I don’t understand why people are so down on Buehrle. I would rather have him than CJ Wilson at their likely salaries. I would have to think about it if they were both offered at the same contract. Buehrle is 2 years older and has been good to great his entire career.

    • Jesse

      Ivan Nova did this year. 165.1 innings, 3.70 ERA.

      But point taken.

      • Jesse

        Crap, missed the 2010 part. Haha

        Scratch what I said.

      • Ted Nelson


        Garcia and Colon also came really close in 2011, which is why I didn’t include it. Seems like a bit of an outlier between the Yankees luck/scouting on Garcia/Colon.

  • kenthadley

    I brought Buehrle up last week and was told by a number of folks here that he didn’t want to pitch in NY. Is that no longer the case?

    • Joe Pawlikowski

      Pretty sure it still is the case, but the Yanks are apparently asking on everyone, and it’s in Buehrle’s best interest to involve them and maybe gain some leverage.

    • David, Jr.

      His agent said something about him being willing to play in New York. Also, it is rumored that Ozzie is trying to get him to come to Florida.

      I have always liked him, but have gotten shot down here over the fact that he doesn’t strike out very many batters. That is a valid point, but you could do a lot worse than Buehrle. If you take Buehrle’s career averages, they are better than Andy’s 2009 season. There are factors all over the place when looking at him (weak AL Central, sometimes horrible White Sox defense, some years not playing for anything important, few strikeouts, but very few walks), but I am betting that if he is willing to play here and if it can be a two year deal, he will be a Yankee.

      • Plank

        For some reason all the writers at RAB don’t like him. That’s fine (they are all cool with getting disagreement), but once they make their opinions known the thought police (a small but vocal minority) take action and it’s hard to have a discussion on the boards here.

        • Joe Pawlikowski

          I don’t think I’ve ever expressed negativity towards a Buehrle signing.

          • Plank

            Sorry Joe. Mike and Ben have certainly made their negative views of a Buehrle signing known though.

            What do you think of Buehrle?

            • Joe Pawlikowski

              At two years I love him. At three years I’d rather to look at Jackson if he’ll sign for four years.

  • Chris

    “The lefty’s value in his durability, we’re talking eleven straight years of 30+ starts and 200+ innings. The Yankees can use some reliability, but these soft-tossing, no strikeout guys scare the crap out of me.”

    Because, of course, soft-tossing no strikeout guys like David Wells and Andy Pettitte were terrible pitchers but power pitchers like Randy Johnson were successful in New York, right?

    • Ted Nelson

      Haha… great point.

      Who needs logic, reason, or evidence?

      • Ted Nelson

        As in Mike is disregarding those things, not you.

    • steve (different one)

      I’d be ok with Buehrle, but Pettitte wasn’t really a “no strikeout” guy, so this argument isn’t all that valid.

      • David, Jr.

        Andy struck out more, but check out Buehrle’s record. Average ERA+ of 120. More than one way to pitch.

  • the Oberamtmann

    David Wells was a soft-tosser?

    The problem with soft-tossing lefties is what was saw with Vazquez. They might be fantastic, but the end is not decline – it’s a cliff. And in the AL East? With the small stadiums? For one or two years I’d love Buehrle but it’ll take more than that, and then I’m not interested.

    • Chris

      He sure as hell wasn’t a power pitcher…and if you look at his strikeout numbers

      He’s pretty similar to Buerhle minus the girth and health issues. Buerhle is EXACTLY what the Yankees need in a market riddled with unknowns, unreliable, inconsistencies, and injury risks- an ~ 3.60 ERA guy who can give you 15-17 wins, leave you with a chance to win every game, and an efficient strike thrower (despite his lack of strikeouts)…in the American League! Why the heck wouldn’t we want to take a risk with him?

  •!/adamhobson Adam Hobson

    I wonder if Cashman wasn’t so upset with not having a chance at Sanchez, so much as not having a chance to convince Sabean to “fix” his problem of too many starters by trading one of higher caliber…

  • TogaSean

    I’d take Buehrle at 2 years $25 mil….get ‘er done.

  • Juke Early

    Buehrle will not leave Chi. Typical transparent leverage ploy passing as clever strategy for lame-o jock level IQ. Oswalt hates NYC. Wilson might come, but Roly Poly Nolie won’t let him go. Edwin Jackson: NYY doesn’t need another number 4 RHSP w/a ho-hum .500 record. AND he’s no guarantee for innings either. Bleah.

    I want to see Cash make a meaningful quid pro quo, big league trade. But is it even possible? Because just like the clowns who snoozed or looked the other way like a bunch of courtiers during the steroid/err-oid, some day some disgruntled old geezer will blow the whistle. The tune will be a little ditty about how Pud Sellit[sic] & his Bud Buttboys told 27 teams to trade freely w/anyone but the NYY. Boston & Baltimore didn’t need telling, they built that bandwagon, and they can ride it straight into Hell.

    • Rookie

      Whether the 27 teams got the memo or not, they all know that they’re cultivating favor with Chairman Bud by sticking it to the Yankees whenever possible — the same way that the umpires know it.