Cowley claims Buehrle extension imminent

Not sure how much of this article is speculation, but Joe Cowley claims in today's Sun-Times that Kenny Williams has pulled Mark Buehrle off of the market and a contract extension may be completed by the end of the week.

The Sun-Times has learned that a change of heart in both the Buehrle and White Sox camps during the last 48 hours has led to talks about the sides somehow getting together and agreeing on a contract extension by the end of the week. That sentiment also was expressed by one Sox player, who said the ''climate'' was right for Buehrle to sign an extension in the next few weeks. "Call it a calm before the storm," the player said.

More and an Update inside.

Key paragraphs:

But attempts to get either camp to confirm those talks were met with responses that were ambiguous at best. Even Buehrle was having fun with the speculation, dropping clues like cookie crumbs leading to a trail -- or simply trying to confuse the media about exactly what's going on. Asked if he had heard the latest on the trade front, Buehrle smiled and said, "It's wrong, it's wrong." What isn't wrong is that Williams has turned his attention to possibly shipping out other players, seemingly to clear salary to keep Buehrle as one of the cornerstones of the organization. What is confirmed is that Buehrle's agent, Jeff Berry, was in the Tampa area with his client this week and that the White Sox remain Buehrle's first choice of where he wants to play past this season -- with any other team a distant second. There was talk Monday that he even lowered the number of years he was looking for from five to four to remain with the Sox. Neither side would address that rumor.

If there is any substance to this article, either Mark Buehrle or Jerry Reinsdorf has had a significant chance of heart over the terms of an appropriate contract.

Update (wiz): The official site says nothing's official:

A report coming Wednesday morning from WSCR 670 AM, the White Sox flagship radio station, of a new multi-year deal close to being agreed upon between the White Sox and Mark Buehrle would not be confirmed by the team. "There's no official announcement," a White Sox team spokesman said. "Anything else is speculation." The radio station's report was that Buehrle and the team were on the verge of agreeing to a four-year, $50 million deal, quite a turnaround from this past weekend, when the left-hander's name was in the news as the top target on Major League Baseball's open market. Buehrle has made no secret of his desire to stay in Chicago, trying to finish his career with the team with which he started, a sentiment seemingly echoed by the White Sox organization and Buehrle's teammates.

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