Mark Buehrle Shouldn't Be Yankees Top Target Mark Buehrle Shouldn't Be Yankees Top Target Mark Buehrle Shouldn't Be Yankees Top Target
 

Mark Buehrle Shouldn’t Be Yankees Top Target

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The New York Yankees are reportedly interested in starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, who just wrapped up a four-year, $56 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

George King of the NY Post reiterated this notion, but went even further by claiming that Buehrle could become the Yankees top target.

The 33-year-old lefty is receiving a lot of buzz and I expect he will get more considering this is one of the weakest pitching market to date.

Regardless, like all prospective free agents the same question remains, will Buehrle be a good fit in New York or not?

When discussing Buehrle the answers given have been mixed, which is understandable but expected at the same time.

See, even though Buehrle is ceaselessly dependable, he also comes with an uneasy amount of risk.

Here are Buehrle’s basic pitching stats from 2007-2011:

Buehrle has been with the White Sox for his entire career; below is Buehrle’s 162 game average from his pro-12 seasons.

It is not a secret that Buehrle is what is called a finesse pitcher; translation is throwing for accuracy without much speed. So, this explains Buehrle’s low walk numbers and why runners don’t get away with much on the bases when he is on the hill.

This explains Buehrle’s low amount of strikeouts and walks as it falls right in line with this type of pitcher. He is an a-typical finesse pitcher.

THE GOOD STUFF:

Without question Buehrle is durable, having never been on the DL, which is clear, as he has never pitched below 201 innings in his career. He holds the record, among active MLB starters, with 11 consecutive seasons posting 200+ innings pitched.

Buehrle’s career winning average is 15 games a season, but has won 13 games total in the last three seasons. His career ERA stands at 3.83, and it has stayed under 4.00 for four of the last five years.

MY THREE CONCERNS:

First, you have to presume that Buehrle will be looking for at least a four-year deal and he will be 33-years old by Opening Day 2012. That means the Yankees will have another player signed into his upper 30’s and you have to worry about regression.

Second, how are Buehrle’s career numbers vs. AL East teams?

Buehrle vs. Boston Red Sox: (regular season, currently active players only)

Buehrle vs. Toronto Blue Jays: (regular season, currently active players only)

These numbers should be a bit concerning since the Yankees will play the Red Sox and Blue Jays at least 18 times over the season.

My last and third issue with Buehrle is that he will give up more home-runs as a Yankee.

And it is not so much due to the batter friendly confines of Yankees Stadium, as Buehrle did spend his career in US Cellular Field, which is no pitcher’s paradise either.

The problem here is the other four AL East teams. In the 2011, ESPN rankings the five AL East teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles) snagged one of the top six spots for most homers hit in the AL. Texas was the only non-East team.

CONCLUSION:

Mark Buehrle is a good pitcher, but his age has to factor in here, as well as the money it will cost to sign him.

Yes, the Yankees have money but are the risks worth it with Buehrle?

My opinion is that Buehrle should not be the Yankees favorite when there is a sharper and younger pitcher named CJ Wilson on the market.




3 Comments

  1. Mark Buehrle Shouldn’t Be Yankees Top Target - BallHyped, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs says:

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  2. Tanned Tom says:

    Those are pretty bad numbers against Boston and Toronto, though he was good against them in 2011, with an ERA of 3.00 against the Red Sox and 1.93 against the Blue Jays. The choice might be based on money. If Wilson wants 6 years for $100 mil (and this seems likely), and Buehrle wants 3 years and $45 mil (also likely) then it might make sense to go for the cheaper contract. Neither of these guys will be the pitcher Burnett was supposed to be, but Buehrle is by far the more known quantity. Why not sign both? Trade Burnett for, well for anything, then let Colon go, move Hughes back to the pen and trade Soriano (or just trade Hughes). The rotation of Sabathia, Wilson, Buehrle, Nova, Garcia is pretty solid. Garcia can leave after 2012 clearing a space for a young arm, and all other young pitchers can start off as relievers until a spot opens up in the rotation.

    • LLP says:

      I know and it worries me Tom!!! People are running around NYC with their heads chopped off for Buehrle, but I think it could be trouble.
      The Yankees Lackey, minus the clubhouse keggers but just not being effective playing in the AL East.