With money to spend and pitching to pursue, the Florida Marlins made a pitch to free agent Mark Buehrle on Tuesday, giving the Sox-fan favorite a tour of their new ballpark and the city of Miami.
Buehrle, 32, is one of the top free-agent pitchers on the market. The Marlins, who'll be managed for former Sox field boss Ozzie Guillen, are making a big push for Buehrle. Miami doesn't seem like a comfortable fit for Buehrle, a family guy whose top two choices are probably the Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals from his hometown state. But it makes sense for the first-time free agent to make the rounds and see what's out there.
Buehrle won 13 games and posted a 3.59 ERA in 2011. The four-time All-Star has a 161-119 career record and 3.83 career ERA, won his third Gold Glove this season and has a World Series title on his resume. He is probably in line to sign for three or possibly even four years at $15-16 million per season, which might be more than the Sox are willing to spend. Buehrle made $56 million over his last four seasons in Chicago.
Buehrle's agent, Jeff Berry, also talked to the Yankees on Tuesday, but the Yankees would not appear to be serious contenders for Buehrle's services.
Buehrle's strikeouts and velocity have declined but he has continued to be effective.
"People say he doesn't have No. 1 ace type stuff. What they're really saying his that he doesn't throw as hard as some aces," Berry said last week. "He never has. He's been doing the same thing - and winning - his whole career."