Lots of Mark Buehrle chatter
June 26th, 2007 by czar

The Sox are interested in Mark effin’ Buehrle?!  Hooray, he threw a no-hitter.  He is NOT ace material and NOT worth any form of extension.  I really hope they don’t move multiple prospects, or at least not any of the ones mentioned, for this guy. 

You mean the Mark Buehrle with a career 3.80 ERA? The Mark Buehrle with 7 full-time big-league seasons with only one with an ERA higher than 4.14 in the AL?

ERA+:

2000: 123
2001: 140
2002: 129
2003: 108
2004: 126
2005: 143
2006: 93
2007: 134

or VORP:

2004: 55.3
2005: 54.8
2006: 16.1
2007 (extrapolated): 62.4

Not to mention his peripherals aren’t terrible– career 2.02 BB/9 IP, almost a 3/1 K/BB ratio etc.

Buehrle had a bad 2006– I suggested buying low after it… However, if the White Sox come up to you and say “We’ll give you Mark Buehrle for Michael Bowden” and he’s willing to look into an extension, you HAVE to consider it. I probably wouldn’t move Buchholz or Ellsbury because they are older, more polished, and have possible roles on the club next year, but a pitcher of Buehrle’s caliber for a kid like Bowden who’s ceiling might be higher than Buehrle, but no guarantee to even make it to the bigs, or Lowrie, who is 23 and blocked for at least 4 years by Lugo/Pedroia in the MI, you absolutely HAVE to consider it, or Moss or Murphy or Hansen, or any of those guys.

Having a farm system is fantastic for developing home-grown talent– however, it’s also good for big-market clubs to make moves for established major leaguers when they come around.

I mean next year you have the potential to see a rotation of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Buehrle, Lester, Buchholz. That’s pretty impressive, considering they would all be locked up for at least 2010 (Beckett’s case) and the rest could be locked up through 2012.

I’m not saying slam dunk, or let’s sell the farm for him– but Buehrle is a legit #2 starter at worst on a big-market club (and since he’s frequently in the top 20-30ish in VORP, technically a #1 starter).

No, no, and no. If you want to ship your top prospects, do it in a deal for a stud (Cabrera/Santana, etc.) – not for Mark Buehrle.

You think a package of Bowden+ lands us Cabrera or Santana?

I agree, I don’t want to move Buchholz, I’d pass there– but while Bowden has a high ceiling, no one is trading us any top 5 pitcher any time soon for him.

I guarantee Theo is not strongly considering moving Buchholz for Buehrle anyway.

However, I don’t see how anyone can complain about the guy’s productivity. He’s pitched remarkably well for a soft-throwing lefty in a hitter’s ballpark. He doesn’t walk many guys, he’s a lefty, and he’s young.

He doesn’t light up the radar guns, but I he does work 88-91. Which is probably right around league average for left-handers I’d figure. 

… just the fact that he’s a soft tossing lefty who pitches to contact, not a good recipe for Fenway… 

Just curious as to what people consider a “soft-tossing lefty” to throw. Buehrle works in the 88-91 mph range with his 4 seamer usually– I’d say that’s around league average for left-handed starters… He’s no Randy Johnson or Scott Kazmir mid 90′s guy, but he’s not a high 70′s, low 80′s Jamie Moyer type either.

You’re right.  Giving up Lowrie/Moss/Bowden isn’t a bad move.  It’s a ****ing terrible move.

Lowrie – 23 year old SS with 2 guys in the MI at the big league club locked up through at least 2010
Moss – OF who many scouts have projected as a 4th OF on a big-market team, maybe a starting corner in a small-market
Bowden – guy out of HS with a very high ceiling, but still very raw and young.

It’s probably too much to give up for a FA SP to be, I agree, but let’s not get too clingy and start overrating the Jed Lowrie’s and Brandon Moss’s of the world.

Obviously an offer centered around Bowden (right now) doesn’t land a superstud, but I wouldn’t think twice about not trading him for Buehrle. Bowden is over two years younger than Buchholz – I value Bowden pretty high too. Plus, Buehrle isn’t a mid-3 to low-4 ERA pitcher in the East.  A package centered around any of Buchholz/Bowden/Ellsbury/Lowrie would be an absolute disaster.

I agree with keeping Buchholz and Ellsbury. I disagree with Bowden or Lowrie. I just don’t understand what people think we’ll get for them. I like Bowden too, and if we didn’t move him for Buehrle, I’d be fine with it, but Jed Lowrie? Guy has great on-base skills, no doubt– but he’s average defensively at SS with no pop and little speed as a 23 year old. At best he’s essentially a Dustin Pedroia clone, and Pedroia is blocking 2B for the next 6 years.

Lowrie’s on fire right now in AA– personally, I think this is the perfect two month period to move him. When the Sox drafted him, they drafted best available talent at the time even though they looked set in the MI (they did have Hanley back then, along with Pedroia). Trade from excess for position of need, I say.

Of course, I’m assuming Lugo is blocking him at SS as well. With a $9 mm per year, the Sox have to stick with him for a couple years I presume no matter how far below the Mendoza line he is hitting.

How is Michael Bowden “raw”, exactly? He dominated Lancaster, the most insane hitters league in all of baseball that doesn’t involve a tee. He’s performing very well in AA as a 20 year old, with the umps squeezing him and therefore jumping his walk numbers, but he’s settled down nicely the past two starts. All reports say he’s a polished, knowledgeable, mature, pitcher who relies on location and his off-speed stuff more than a blazing fastball. He’s not Hughes or Gallardo, but he’s just a single rung down from them as a prospect.

Bowden’s not polished. I’ve seen him a couple times in Portland, and he still tries to blow his fastball by everyone, and throws a lot of offspeed stuff in the dirt, trying to get hitters to chase. He’s got really good stuff, I don’t doubt that, but he still has a ways to go to learn how to “pitch” and deal with guys who will lay off the stuff in the dirt. I’m not saying he won’t get there at some point, but he’s not going to walk through the Fenway clubhouse door anytime soon and throw up eye-popping numbers anytime in the near future.

He’s a primo talent, and like I said, I do like him a lot. That said, he’s at least a couple years away from the bigs, and there’s no guarantee he lives up to the ceiling. I just believe if you have a chance for a pitcher who has been well above AL average for 6 years now for a guy who has a lot of talent but is still a couple years away, you have to strongly consider it.

I mean, do people expect Bowden to be a 16-20 win, 3.20 pitcher? Personally, the middle portion projection curve is likely pretty close the Buehrle’s career numbers. Sure there’s a 10% chance he’ll be a perennial Cy Young winner, but there’s at least 10% chance he’s the next Brian Rose. And we all remember Brian Rose’s stud career.

Brian Rose gave up nearly 10 H/9, gave up a TON of HR, and wasn’t much of a strike out pitcher. Michael Bowden does not give up HRs, allows far fewer hits, and K’s more people.

And the more I look at Rose’s numbers, he never performed as well as we all thought he did. So, yeah, Michael Bowden is much, much better than Brian Rose. In fact, Brian Rose’s numbers weren’t impressive at all the more I look at them.

That wasn’t meant to be a “look Bowden = Rose!” comparison, it was more of a “this could always happen to a prospect” comment. (Don’t worry, I do agree with you that Bowden’s numbers are superior to Rose)

I’m not saying Bowden WILL flame out, or even that there’s a significant possibility. But it always has to be taken into consideration with prospects, especially the younger ones.

I’d trade for Buehrle if it can be done without including either Buchholz or Ellsbury. The depth of the team’s starting pitching has been a very important factor in opening up a double digit lead and adding Buehrle only enhances that strength. I like Lester as much as anyone but isn’t his best case scenario to become a pitcher like Buehrle some day?

Exactly. Buehrle is what everyone in RSN hopes Lester turns out to be. Like I said repeatedly earlier, I’d consider Buchholz and Ellsbury off the table, but anyone in the farm system is fair game if it’s a fair asking price, IMO. Last year if I told someone we could trade Bowden/Lowrie for another Jon Lester who has already proven himself to be a top 20 AL starter at the big league level, everyone would jump to do it.

If we did move for MB, averaging over a HA/IP doesn’t bother any of you in terms of what he’ll do at Fenway?  It’s only 310 feet to that wall in left.

Not terribly– Wells had a far worse H/9 and WHIP than Buehrle when he was here in ’05 and managed to pitch reasonably well. Scott Kazmir has over a hit an inning (and far more walks than Buehrle) in 2007. Would you still want him? He also had better career peripherals than Andy Pettitte (even including Andy’s foray into the NL). Wouldn’t you like to have a 28 year old, durable, Andy Pettitte?

I think there is SOMETHING to the left-hander at Fenway thing you mention (even if the stats of pitchers in the last 10 years or so show that lefties typically had a better ERA at home than the road), but I think having a GOOD left-hander dimishes that worry quite a bit.

We’re better off with Lester, who misses more bats.

And walks twice as many people…

For those that balk at trading Lester to Chicago, I really, really hope Lester can put together a career that is better than Buehrle’s, I really do. His ceiling is probably higher than Buehrle’s career peripherals, but it’s only his ceiling, not his projected median. Honestly, I’d hope the FO took something out of “we won’t give up Casey Fossum for Bartolo Colon” even if it was before the Theo era.

Posted in Message Board Ramblings


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