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Williams or Buehrle: Will either blink in this game of Chicken?

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Now that Javier Vazquez has surprised everyone by signing an extension to stay with the White Sox for 3 more years, all attention has turned to Mark Buehrle.

In the Robothal piece I linked to yesterday, Kenny Williams made it clear that the Sox will not be the one to initiate contract discussions beyond saying "we're listening," which just happens to be the same thing the Buehrle camp is saying.

The two sides appear to be at an impasse with number of years looming as the obvious stumbling block.

Says Mark Buehrle's Agent, Jeff Barry:

"In terms of how we value Mark and where the market in general would value Mark ... I mean Gil Meche signed at five years (for $55 million with Kansas City), and Barry Zito signed for seven (years at $126 million with San Francisco)," Berry said. "Mark has been one of the most durable pitchers in the last decade, and that kind of speaks for itself."
To which Kenny replies with reasoning behind the club's well publicized guideline for shorter-term contracts to starting pitchers.
"History really shows that those types of contracts just have not worked out for teams, and there's just a mountain of evidence to support it," said Williams of contracts for starting pitchers running longer than three years. "You never say never because we could very well be out in the free-agent market next year, or with our own guy, and make the determination that we want to retain any of our guys and go that route.

"So, you never say never. But I would characterize that as unlikely."

Both sides of the issue have merit. And as such, I doubt we'll see this one resolved before Buehrle officially becomes a free agent in 8 months time.