6:30 p.m. EDT update: CSN Chicago’s Chuck Garfien has the Marlins as the favorites to land Buehrle, a scenario that would reunite the left-hander with his former manager in Chicago, Ozzie Guillen. The Rangers and Nationals remain in the mix, and a return to the White Sox still hasn’t been ruled out.
The hot stove is finally starting to heat up.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, three teams have made substantial three-year offers to free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle and an agreement could happen “quickly this week.”
The Nationals, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Marlins, Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Royals, Cardinals and Red Sox have all been linked to the veteran southpaw since free agency began, but Cowley has not been told where exactly the three-year proposals came from.
Buehrle, 32, posted a rock-solid 3.59 ERA in 31 starts this year for the White Sox and boasts a 3.87 ERA over his past seven seasons. He’s topped 200 innings pitched each year since 2001.
Buehrle is said to be demanding a no-trade clause and likely has enough leverage to hold out for one.
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.