Buehrle: 'I was lied to'

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Buehrle: 'I was lied to'

The Marlins and Blue Jays turned the baseball world upside down last week with the megadeal that sent a slew of veterans north of the border just one year after they were signed in South Beach.

And one player is not too happy about how things went down.

Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, who signed a four-year deal prior to the 2012 season, let his frustrations fly Wednesday.

"I'm upset with how things turned out in Miami," Buehrle said in a joint statement with his agent, Jeff Berry, according to the Sun Sentinel. "Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I'm putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career."

The Marlins inked Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes and closer Heath Bell to lucrative, back-loaded deals in free agency last winter and now all three players are gone after just one season. Manager Ozzie Guillen also lasted only one year, having been fired in late October.

Guillen was a driving force in Buehrle signing with Miami, as the veteran pitcher was famously intent on joining a team only if the geographic location matched his and his family's interest. Now, Buehrle has no choice, given that his contract with the Marlins included a no-trade clause.

"Throughout the recruiting process, the Marlins made repeated assurances about their long-term commitment to Mark and his family and their long-term commitment to building a winning tradition of Marlins baseball in the new stadium," Berry said in the statement. "This was demonstrated by their already completed signings of Ozzie, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes.

"At the same time, given the Marlins' history, we were all certainly aware of and voiced concern about the lack of no-trade protection. This is unquestionably a business, and signing with the Marlins was a calculated risk. Mark held up his end of the bargain; unfortunately the same can't be said of the Marlins."

Buehrle's deal was worth 58 million over the four years, but the Marlins ended up paying him just 14.5 million for one year, while the Blue Jays are now on the hook for the remainder of that salary. Reyes was due 106 million over six years and Bell was owed 27 million over three years.

While the Blue Jays made the move in an attempt to challenge the Yankees and Rays in the competitive AL East, a big reason why the Marlins made the deal was to shed the lofty salaries owed to Buehrle, Reyes and Josh Johnson.

Given how things turned out this offseason -- Bell was also traded on Oct. 20 -- how will the Marlins ever convince a veteran free agent to sign a long-term deal with them in the near future?

Don Cooper remembers what made Mark Buehrle so special 

Don Cooper remembers what made Mark Buehrle so special 

Mark Buehrle didn’t have the kind of attributes found in most of the dominant pitchers of the post-steroid era. He was a 38th-round draft pick with a fastball that, on a good day, would scrap the upper 80’s. 

On Saturday, Buehrle will become the third pitcher to have his number retired in White Sox history, joining Ted Lyons (No. 16) and Billy Pierce (No. 19). For Don Cooper, who was Buehrle’s pitching coach from 2002-2011, it’s not hard to see why the St. Charles, Mo. native’s name will forever be a part of White Sox history. 

“Reliable, consistent, dependable, winner, good guy, unflappable, these are words that come to mind when I think about him,” Cooper said. 

Cooper was flooded with plenty of memories of Buehrle during the dozen minutes he spent chatting with the media on Friday. He said he learned a lot from working with Buehrle, watching him fill up the strike zone and induce early, weak contact while working at a brisk pace. One of Cooper's memories that stood out was this one:

“I can remember in the bullpen, he’d be warming up, he’d throw about 10 pitches,” Cooper said. “He’d look at me, I’d look at him. He wasn’t throwing very good. He turned to me and said, ‘Come on, let’s go, this isn’t going to get me any better.’”

But that was Buehrle — “In many ways, you could just wind him up and you’re throwing him out there every five days,” Cooper said. He battled through days where he didn’t have his best stuff — not that his stuff was electric to begin with — and turned in 14 consecutive years with 200 or more innings. 

Buehrle, of course, threw a no-hitter in 2007 and a perfect game in 2009, and along with save in Game 3 of the World Series represent some of the crowning achievements of his career. Cooper was happy to have been a part of it from his perch on the White Sox bench. 

“I think he was blessed,” Cooper said. “He was given a lot of gifts. The sinking fastball, the changeup, the cutter. His curveball, by scouts’ assessments, would probably be rated an average curveball. But as time went and as his stuff went down, we started to use that more. When he was at his best, we would throw about 8-10 of those. But as he started losing his stuff we had to mix more of those in. And listen, the career he had, his number being retired, the kids, his family — blessed. He’s been a blessed guy.” 

Adam Engel making the most of his opportunity with White Sox

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USA TODAY

Adam Engel making the most of his opportunity with White Sox

Adam Engel is making the most of his second opportunity with the White Sox.

Engel had his best game of the season in Thursday’s finale against the Minnesota Twins, where he went 4-for-5 with three singles, a double, and two RBIs in the White Sox 9-0 win. He became the first White Sox outfielder with a four-hit game within their first 11 career MLB games since Harold Baines (10th game) on April 20, 1980, according to CSN stats guru Chris Kamka.

"Some days you hit it, some days you don’t," Engel said. "Yesterday was the day that I hit it.”

After nearly a five-hour rain delay, the White Sox came out hot right from the get-go on Thursday. In fact, by the time Engel was ready to bat for the first time, the White Sox were already leading 4-0 and Twins starter Nik Turley had been yanked from the game.

“It was awesome,” Engel. “(The) team is winning, getting some hits. It’s a great feeling. Obviously the goal is to try and help the team win.”

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Engel made his major league debut on May 27 and then was optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte on June 9. His wife Jaime had a child on June 12, and almost a week later, he was recalled again by the White Sox to replace an injured Leury Garcia.

Engel, who's hitting .344/.382/.406 entering Friday's game, will look to keep his hot streak going with his wife and newborn in attendance.