Mark Buehrle is one of Ozzie Guillen's favorite players. So no surprise that when the free agent negotiating window opened last week, the Marlins were one of the first teams to come calling, hoping to sign the longtime White Sox southpaw. Tuesday, Miami was Buehrle's first stop on his free agent tour, a journey that will make several stops around the country before all is said and done. The Nationals, Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox have also expressed interest in Buehrle, according to a source. His hometown Cardinals might enter the picture at some point as well.
If you're wondering where the White Sox are in this equation, despite reports, they're still in the mix, but likely won't enter the game until the 9th inning, just like they did last year with Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski. Obviously, things are different this time around. The White Sox were adding payroll last year as opposed to subtracting. With big market teams like New York and Boston kicking the tires on Buehrle, it won't exactly help matters if they end up making offers. However, Buehrle has expressed his desire to stay with the White Sox from day one. His love for the organization runs deep. That's what the White Sox have in their favor.
Over the next month you'll hear stories about Team X going after Buehrle, or Team Y being hot on his trail. But, when it comes down to it, the Buehrle game is not going to be decided until that final inning, probably around the MLB winter meetings, starting December 5th in Dallas. In that final frame, the White Sox will be in position for an at-bat, maybe even the last one. What will they do with it when the time comes? That's the mystery. Stay tuned.