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Sweep? Get out!

The White Sox completed their first sweep of the season, and their first 4-game sweep since September of 2005, with another improbable high-strikeout victory against Tampa Bay. Paul Konerko went deep twice, Luis Terrero got hit by a pitch, and Javier Vazquez struck out a season-high 10 D-Rays to lead the Sox to victory.

Once again, the drama on the field pales in comparison to the one taking place off the field. The Buehrle extension rumors were quiet today, as Rick Hahn and Mark Buehrle's agent Jeff Berry met face-to-face. But it's tough to tell how much progress was made.

Normally if I saw quotes like the ones included in Scott Merkin's latest piece, I would conclude that the two sides have reached an impasse.

"No comment. No comment on any contract situation," said Buehrle, [...] "I don't want to say anything and get you guys confused.

"Call Rick [Hahn]. Call Jeff [Berry]. Call Kenny," Buehrle added.

Berry said via e-mail on Thursday night, "There was nothing new to report." Also reached through e-mail, Hahn reiterated the company policy that unless or until the organization has an announcement of some sort, he "wouldn't expect us to provide any updates or comment."

But as I'll continue to point out until I'm proved wrong, Buehrle wanted to keep all of this quiet in the first place. It's hard to imagine anyone being forthcoming with information after Buehrle had expressed a desire to keep everything out of the press.

As it is, the supposed Friday deadline seems to have softened a bit, but don't expect this drama to carry on anytime beyond the end of the weekend.

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Earlier today, I saw that Minnesota's Matt Garza was called up in an article which also contained speculation that he would get a start against the White Sox next Friday during a double header. That prompted me to look closely at the Sox upcoming schedule -- which isn't something I'd normally do for a team that's hanging around 10 games under .500. The Sox don't have an off-day until the All-Star break, and (obviously) have a double header with the Twins next Friday.

That means we'll either see the debut of Gavin Floyd in a White Sox uniform, or we'll finally dispel the notion that Nick Masset is better suited as a starter. Floyd is scheduled to pitch in Syracuse on Sunday, which, with 4-days rest, would put his next scheduled start on Friday.

With just 3 games between the All-Star break and double header, the Sox may elect to go with Masset. Floyd's debut will likely be determined by both which pitcher the Sox chose to trade and when that trade happens.

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Update [2007-6-29 2:40:21 by The Cheat]: One last Buehrle update before I head to bed.

But two sources familiar with the negotiations said the two sides were close to completing a four-year, $56 million contract that could make Buehrle the highest-paid Sox player annually at $14 million per year.

One of the potential stumbling blocks, according to one of the sources, could be the Major League Baseball Players Association, which might hesitate to approve the deal because it believes Buehrle could command more on the free agent market this winter.

I had seen some speculation over at Soxtalk that the players union may object to a 4/$50M deal, but I didn't believe it was anything more than speculation. It appears this has some legs. I think Buehrle and co. will have everything worked out by gametime Friday, but it may be through the weekend before we hear anything while JR and Bud strong-arm the union.