Enjoy this weekend, for it could be the last one where Mark Buehrle isn't a member of another team.
For as long as Buehrle's future has been open-ended, the winter meetings served as the assumed day of reckoning. Last year, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski shopped themselves around before coming back to the White Sox, and Buehrle was expected to do the same.
Buehrle's camp has settled on two demands, and I have a different read on it than Joe Cowley:
The latest on the Buehrle free-agent tour doesn’t exactly bode well for the Sox, either, with a source telling the Sun-Times that interested teams need not bother unless they’re willing to start the discussions with a three-year deal that has a no-trade clause to go along with it.
At least half of that bodes very well for the White Sox, since Buehrle already has a complete no-trade clause in the form of 10-and-5 rights with Chicago. The three-year minimum is stickier, since the White Sox originally desired two years, and I don't know if they would want to match another team that went to four. But I'm guessing annual value is where the Sox's ability to retain Buehrle will truly be tested.
Christian Marrero Reading Room
Also in that above Cowley article, he says Williams is setting an exorbitant initial asking price for John Danks, but he's doesn't seem nearly as inclined to move Gavin Floyd, perhaps due to his close relationship with Don Cooper.
Doug Padilla puts a number on trade likelihoods for Carlos Quentin (90 percent), Danks (70 percent), Matt Thornton (60 percent) and Floyd (40 percent).
Mark Gonzales gives some examples of the kind of pitcher the White Sox want in return for their various trading parts: somebody like Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances or Julio Teheran.
- Minnie Minoso: Is it Minnie Minoso's time? - chicagotribune.com
- Making the Hall of Fame case - chicagotribune.com
- First Latino White Sox Star Gets Another Shot - NYTimes.com
It's also a big week for Minnie Minoso, whose Hall of Fame case will be debated during the meetings. Phil Rogers offers his support in the first two links, while the last one, written by Dan McGrath, is more skeptical. I think. It just seemed to end suddenly with a quick personal opinion that doesn't match the perspective of the rest of the article. But there's a sweet photo on it.
The SEC is investigating how the Marlins received public money to pay for their new ballpark despite strenuous voter objection, and our friend Rob Neyer wrote a nice commentary on it, tying it to this worthwhile article about the Astrodome's plight.