Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that, according to a source, Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle is considering retiring after this season. Buehrle’s four-year, $58 million contract expires at the conclusion of the season and he will become a free agent, creating a convenient ending point for a career.
Buehrle, 36, hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, however. He finished last season with a superb 3.39 ERA in 202 innings and has won both of his starts so far this season, allowing five runs in 12 innings.
Buehrle has accrued at least 200 innings in every season dating back to 2001. Those 14 seasons are by far the most in that span of time. Next in line, eight players have each had eight seasons of 200-plus innings since 2001: Justin Verlander, James Shields, Cliff Lee, Bronson Arroyo, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Javier Vazquez, and Livan Hernandez. In addition to being baseball’s resident innings-eater, Buehrle has made five All-Star teams and won four Gold Gloves.
Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.
Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.
It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.
Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.