White Sox starter Mark Buehrle is the anti-Michael Vick. Or, the opposite of what Vick used to be.
According to Terry Hillig of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Buehrle has offered to pay any uncovered medical expenses for a dog who was found stranded in southern Illinois this weekend with an arrow in its abdomen.
The arrow, presumably shot from a deer hunting bow, caused severe damage to the four-year-old dog’s spleen and part of its intestines, but there’s a good chance for a full recovery.
Buehrle is a native of St. Charles, MO, a western suburb of St. Louis. It just so happens that he was mentioned this morning in Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe. The White Sox are apparently listening to offers for the left-hander, who will hit free agency after the 2011 season.
Buehrle, 31, went 13-13 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 33 starts in 2010, fanning 99 batters and walking 49 across 210.1 innings. He also won a second straight Gold Glove.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.