Online Staff Report
Mark Buehrle, who has spent his entire 12-year career with the Chicago White Sox, signed a $58 million, four-year contract to join former White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen in Miami next season.
Buehrle, 32, a four-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, had a 3.83 ERA and 161-119 record in his 12 seasons with the White Sox. The southpaw started more than 30 games in every season, and pitched a no-hitter April 18, 2007, against the Texas Rangers, and a perfect game July 23, 2009, against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was just the 18th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a perfect game.
When asked how he would fill the void left by Buehrle’s departure, White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams said in an ESPNChicago report: “I’m not sure you do. I think you respect what he’s meant both on the field and off the field and you accept it. For me to stand here and say that somebody will take that mantle and be Mark Buehrle, well Mark Buehrle is Mark Buehrle. He is a unique person.”
Williams has said he does not plan to make any changes to the White Sox’s rotation for 2012. That would leave the Sox with a rotation of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Phil Humber and Chris Sale.
White Sox captain Paul Konerko told the Daily Herald: “My thoughts are that it is a tough, sad day for White Sox. No way to spin this any other way. Just try to get over it and move on.”
Buehrle is the third major free-agent to sign with the Marlins, who also signed closer Heath Bell and shortstop Jose Reyes. The team had reportedly been in the running to sign free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols, but Pujols refused their $200 million-plus offer.
The Marlins will open their new $515 million, retractable-roof stadium in 2012. They had the lowest payroll of any team in the major leagues last season.