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Mark Buehrle follows Ozzie Guillen to Miami, signing $58 million deal with Marlins

Dec 7, 2011, 5:07 PM EDT

buehrle and ozzie

In a sign that Miami’s pursuit of Albert Pujols is likely over, the Marlins shifted their attention to the rotation and signed veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle to a four-year, $58 million contract.

Buehrle drew interest from nearly half the teams in baseball, but recently narrowed his choices down to the Marlins, Nationals, and one other unnamed team, ultimately choosing to be reunited with Ozzie Guillen after the two spent the past eight seasons together with the White Sox.

Buehrle has never blown anyone away with his raw stuff, but he has a 3.83 career ERA and has topped 200 innings in each of his 11 full seasons. During that same period Marlins pitchers have topped 200 innings a combined total of 13 times. Over the past four years Buehrle ranks 10th among all pitchers in innings and 28th in adjusted ERA+, which factors in ballpark and league.

At age 33 a four-year commitment is risky, but Buehrle is coming off one of his best seasons with a 3.59 ERA in 205 innings and while certainly not as exciting as signing Pujols the Marlins can definitely use the rotation help. Josh Johnson‘s health is a huge factor for the Marlins’ pitching staff, but a potential front four of Johnson, Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco could be among the league’s best.

And now we’ll find out if Miami still has enough money left to pursue a fourth big-name free agent like Prince Fielder. So far they’ve handed out $191 million to Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Buehrle.

  1. burgundyngold21 - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Didnt get it done Rizzo……. 😦 oh well

    • natstowngreg - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      I’m bummed as well, but an average $14.5 million for him? Um, no.

      • Old Gator - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        I wouldn’t “follow Ozzie” anywhere if I was a blue tick hound trained to track garlic sweat and spittle.

  2. rollinghighwayblues - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    I like this signing. Definitely a guy who has earned this type of contract and years. He’ll be able to eat plenty of innings especially pitching to 8 hitters instead of 9.

  3. El Bravo - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM


  4. baseballisboring - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    I think a guy like Buehrle is what they really needed more than Pujols or Fielder. With Reyes, Stanton, Morrison and Hanley the lineup already looks pretty solid. But they really lack(ed) depth in the rotation.

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      I agree. I’m kind relieved that they didn’t hogtie the franchise with that contract for Pujols and they got most of what they needed. Now: a real third baseman please.

  5. kinggw - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Thank you Marlins. You saved the Nats from overpaying for a glorified number 3 starter. I wouldnt have minded Buehrle, but not at almost $15M per.

    • kinggw - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:20 PM

      No, I think Rizzo is an idiot for that as well. I could rationalize giving Fielder or someone of his ilk that kind of cash, I still can’t believe Werth broke $80M let alone $120M.

  6. yankeesgameday - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Very cool.

    I wanted him for the Yanks, but I think this is great for Miami. Who threw the first pitch at the new stadium: mark buerhle.

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      Sure. Now that Hanley’s pouting, let’s piss off Josh Johnson, shall we?

  7. thejotapee - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Even though we missed out on Pujols, atleast we filled all of our major holes with some of the best available at each position. Go Fish!

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:19 PM

      Is HBT going to edit out the part about filling all of our major holes?

      • serqball - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:39 PM

        At least they didn’t fill any minor holes…

    • Old Gator - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:03 AM

      Boy, I sure hope you don’t think moving the Hanster to third constitutes “filling a major hole.” Come on, man – you’ve seen him boot his one hoppers and bounce his pegs off the box seat rails at Joeprodolsharklife Stadium as often as I have. What do you think moving him twenty feet closer to the batter and thirty feet further from first is going to do for him? The wide end of his throwing cone will now include the last ten feet of the dugout.

  8. APBA Guy - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Don’t the Marlins need another starter? Who is going to be # 5, and what will they do if if Johnson goes down for an extended period?

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:12 PM

      Knock gently on the door so that Josh can throw her out and let his roomate come in before he gets nailed for violating curfew.

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