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.