Here’s something you may have missed during the slumber of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times was told by a source that the White Sox thought only five or six teams would be interested in Mark Buehrle and that it would ultimately take a two-year deal in order to sign him. Really, now?
It’s pretty hard to believe White Sox general manager Ken Williams could be that naive, as everybody knows there are only a few quality starting pitchers available in free agency this winter. In fact, our own Matthew Pouliot has him ranked No. 7 on his top 101 free agents, with only C.J. Wilson and (potentially) Yu Darvish ranked higher.
Predictably, the veteran left-hander has drawn interest from nearly a dozen teams and Cowley hears he has already received multiple three-year offers. If this is the White Sox attempt to spin Buehrle’s seemingly inevitable exit from Chicago, it doesn’t exactly cast them in the most favorable light.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.