Buehrle lands out of his comfort zone in Toronto

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Buehrle lands out of his comfort zone in Toronto

There's been plenty of words written about the not-yet-official megadeal that shipped 20 percent of the Miami Marlins to Toronto for Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis and a handful of prospects, with Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra and Yahoo's Jeff Passan offering scathing skewerings of Jeffery Loria, David Samson and Miami's ownership. Both are excellent reads, and delve into a problem much larger than the one that may be facing Mark Buehrle as he readies for three years north of the border.

From a personal standpoint, there's already one problem with Buehrle being shipped to Toronto. The Canadian province of Ontario doesn't allow pit bulls, and Buehrle and his family own a two-year-old of which they're fond. There was an easy solution to getting around the Dade County (where Miami is located) ban on pit bulls -- move to Broward county, just north of Miami.

That's just one area, though, where Buehrle will be out of his comfort zone. Jim Margalus at South Side Sox looked at that topic, and noted Buehrle has a 4.35 career ERA against the AL East opponents he'll face on a more consistent basis through 2015. But the larger point Jim makes is that Buehrle has never really pitched out of his comfort zone in the majors -- when he went to Miami, he stayed with the same manager he had since 2004.

Toronto is an unknown, a destination he didn't consider in free agency last year. Instead, he signed with Miami and turned in a typical Mark Buehrle year -- 3.74 ERA, 31 starts, 202 13 innings.

Buehrle, though, has beaten the odds ever since he was cut from his high school team in suburban St. Louis. We'll see if he can continue to beat the odds in Toronto.

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four of the team's top-10 prospects and a former All-Star are among the 19 nonroster invitees to White Sox big league camp this spring.

The team announced Monday that prospects Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and Spencer Adams have all been invited to camp next month. Everth Cabrera, an All-Star in 2013 for the San Diego Padres, Cody Asche, Cory Luebke and Geovany Soto are among the eight minor league free agents who also received an invitation. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 14 while the team holds its first full-squad workout on Feb. 18.

Kopech was acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December while Collins and Burdi were both selected in the 2016 amateur draft. Adams was drafted in 2014.

Signed earlier this month, Soto is expected to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Soto, who played for the White Sox in 2015, finished last season with four home runs and an .809 OPS in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.

Cabrera, who produced 4.6 Wins Above Replacement between 2012-13, hasn't played in the majors since he appeared in 29 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Luebke, who has twice had reconstructive elbow surgery, finished with a 9.35 ERA in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Asche blasted 31 homers with a .240/.298/.385 slash line in 1,287 plate appearances since 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Other minor league free agents include: left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, right-handers Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak, and catcher Roberto Pena.

White Sox minor leaguer pitchers Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark, Jace Fry and Matt Purke, infielders Nicky Delmonico and Danny Hayes, and outfielder Courtney Hawkins also have been invited to camp.

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