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Might Buehrle Be Staying Now?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 28, 2007 5:00AM

2007_06_sports_buehrle.jpgWell, Chicagoist had finally come to terms with the fact that Mark Buehrle's days with the White Sox were numbered. We've heard and read the daily rumors about him being traded to the Mets, the Red Sox, the Cards, the Dodgers, the Braves, etc. While we hoped the Sox would lock up the durable lefty, his looming free agency, along with his supposed desire for a five year deal and rumors that he wanted to play for his hometown Cardinals made it seem unlikely that he'd remain on the South Side as the Sox continue to head south in the standings.

But developments on Wednesday hint that a contract extension might be in the works that could keep Buehrle with the Sox for a few more years. Both Buehrle's agent Jeff Berry and White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn happen to be in St. Petersburg, where the Sox are playing four games against the Devil Rays. While earlier in the day Buehrle's agent denied resuming discussions with the Sox, the fact that the Sox primary negotiator hightailed it to Florida doesn't seem to be a coincidence. Supposedly, there's a narrow window in which to work, however, as GM Kenny Williams has set a Friday deadline for any deal.

Should Buehrle stay with the Sox, we can expect one of the other starting pitchers to be traded. After all, they still have a bloated payroll for a team that's among the worst in the AL. Could the Mets be interested in hosting the Cuban Connection III? They've suppsoedly expressed interest in Jose Contreras, who could be reunited with former Yankees and Sox teammate Orlando Hernandez. Or might somebody want to the long term stability that Javier Vasquez's three year extension provides? However, if we Williams and were heading into a rebuilding period with the Sox, we'd keep John Garland to pair with Buehrle over the next few years.

Photo via AP Photo/Chris O'Meara