White Sox not optimistic about re-signing Mark Buehrle

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General manager Ken Williams spoke yesterday about the White Sox’s effort to re-sign Mark Buehrle and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune writes that “he was bracing for the worst.”

Here are some of Williams’ quotes, which certainly don’t sound very optimistic at all:

Listen, it’s professional sports. There’s a time for everyone to come. There’s a time for everyone to go. I don’t know if this is his time to go. I don’t want this to come out the wrong way because he has been as consistent of a performer as you’d ever want over the time he’s been here.

So if it comes down to he’s not here, we got to make the adjustment. That’s just the business of baseball. But it doesn’t mean we like it. It doesn’t mean that’s our preferred course. It doesn’t mean we won’t want him here. Just means this is kind of the way it has to be.

Interestingly, so far at least there are no reports of Buehrle receiving a huge offer from another team. So either those offers have been kept under wraps or the cost-cutting White Sox simply aren’t in a position to make a serious bid to keep him anyway.

Mike Rizzo and Shawn Kelley almost got into a physical confrontation

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A few weeks back the Washington Nationals designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment the morning after he threw his glove into the ground and glared at the Nats dugout in frustration after giving up a homer in a blowout win against the Mets. He was later traded to the Athletics. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said at that time that he thought Kelley was trying to show up his manager and that there was no room for that sort of thing on the team, offering an “either you’re with us or you’re working against us” sentiment in the process.

Today the Washington Post talks about all of the Nationals’ bullpen woes of late, and touches on the departure of Kelley as being part of the problem. In so doing, we learn that, on the night of Kelley’s mound tantrum, he and Rizzo almost got into a physical confrontation:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further . . .

Might I point out that, the fact of this emerging now helps to vindicate Brandon Kintzler who, the day before, was traded away, some say, for being the source for negative reports from inside the Nats’ clubhouse?

That aside, the article does not make anyone look good, really. Rizzo had the backing of his team with the Kelley incident, but the overall story — how did the Nats’ bullpen, which was once a strength — get so bad? — does no favors for Rizzo. Mostly because he seems to have thought that they had so much extra bullpen depth that they could afford to deal away Kintzler, which he says was a financial move, not a punitive trade for being a media source.

Question: when was the last time you heard a baseball man say he had too much relief pitching? Especially today, in which the bullpen has assumed such a prominent role? Seems rather unreasonable to cut relievers when you’re trying mightily to come back from a sizable deficit in the standings, yes?