Here’s something rather interesting, though there isn’t a whole lot of meat on it as yet. And by “not a whole lot,” I mean nothing more than just this, basically:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 26, 2013
Mark Buehrle rumours?
The fantasy-focussed site KFFL.com seems to have noticed the tidbit, but all they’re adding at this point is this:
The Toronto Blue Jays are shopping SP Mark Buehrle this offseason. It’ll be difficult to deal him because his contract was heavily backloaded.
I did post last week that Jeff Blair had written there was a “chance” that Buehrle could move, but whispers since have been few and far between. At the time I actually figured that the two years remaining on Buehrle’s deal are maybe better than KFFL– and presumably Gammons by extension– is giving credit for:
In total the remainder of Buehrle’s deal is only $2-million richer than the one Tim Lincecum signed with the Giants in October, and Buehrle actually has a bunch more value– especially if you go by the Baseball Reference version of WAR (which you may want to in his case, since he has fairly routinely had his ERA outperform his FIP over the course of his career). By rWAR Buehrle has been worth +5.6 wins over the last two seasons, while Lincecum has been worth -2.3. Even by the FanGraphs version of the metric Buehrle (+4.4) has been nearly two full wins better than Timmy (+2.5) over that span.
Of course, the Lincecum contract is a clear overpay, and not a particularly good benchmark. But the market could catch up to it, in which case Buehrle would start looking pretty good to clubs not willing to make the kinds of commitments it will take to land Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, or Ervin Santana– none of whom, it should be noted, produced more total rWAR or fWAR than Buehrle over the last two seasons.
Hang on, that can’t be right, can it?
Buehrle was +5.6 over two years by Baseball Reference, and +4.4 by FanGraphs. Garza was +2.6 and +3.3. Santana was +1.5 and +2.0. And Ubaldo was +2.1 and +3.3.
Still fits. Still kinda mind-blowing. Still maybe suggests that Buehrle could be a pretty decent alternative for a club who would rather not commit to the length of contract those sorts of pitchers are going to command on the open market. Of course, that’s still also why he has a tonne of value to a club like the Jays.
Then again, Alex Anthopoulos said over the weekend that he’s considered moving some surprising members of his 25-man roster, with the view to back-filling through free agency. Would that fit a Buehrle move, though? I don’t know.
So… there’s that. I’ll keep my eye out for more and update the post as needed.