Mark Buehrle just wants to get this contract extension talk/trade talk out of the way and focus on baseball.
Mark Buehrle just wants to get this contract extension talk/trade talk out of the way and focus on baseball. “I’m kind of tired of seeing my name out there, but that’s going to happen to the trade deadline or until a deal is done,” the White Sox pitcher said. “It’s going to happen until July 31, or even later.” Or perhaps sooner. Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn — the team’s chief negotiator — left Tampa, Fla., on Thursday after meeting with Buehrle’s agent, Jeff Berry, for talks that manager Ozzie Guillen heard “went great.” In all likelihood, Hahn’s exit means either an extension has been completed except for approval from the Sox higher-ups, or negotiations have been cut off. “No comment on any contract situations,” said Buehrle, who had lunch with Berry on Thursday. Berry said via e-mail, “nothing new to report,” and the Sox expressed the same. “Unless or until we have an announcement of some sort, I wouldn’t expect us to provide any updates or comment,” Hahn said via e-mail. Guillen, meanwhile, talked with Hahn on Wednesday night and heard negotiations went well. “To last night, it was like 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock, it was pretty good,” Guillen said. “Everything sounded great. I was excited.” Numerous reports have said the Sox have set today as a deadline for an extension, and if that doesn’t happen, Buehrle could be back on the trading block. “I haven’t been told anything. I haven’t heard of any deadline,” Buehrle said. “I read somewhere that (general manager Ken Williams) said it had to be done by Friday. I don’t know what that means, anyway.” While most of the immediate parties were quiet, one of Buehrle’s best friends on the team politicked for his return. “It’s hard to argue Buehrle’s track record ... ” fellow pitcher Jon Garland said. “Every time he steps on that field, everyone in the ballpark knows his team probably has a better chance to win that game. It’s kind of hard to argue that fact.” If the deal is for four years, with an option for a fifth (as has been reported), that would fly in the face of the Sox’s previous stance of not giving pitchers more than a three-year contract. “The whole policy kind of gets me, because you hear teams say pitching and defense is what will get you there, but they shied away from the long-term deal on pitchers,” Garland said. “It kind of defeats what you are after in the first place. I think the guy deserves it. I think he will deserve everything he gets, whether it be here or with another team. He has earned it.” To DL, or Not to DL? Jermaine Dye (strained right quad) says he cannot play today — “I haven’t run the bases seriously yet. I don’t know how I’m going to play (today)” — but added he did not think he was going on the disabled list. Guillen said the Sox need to make a decision soon. “If he can’t play (today), we’ve got to do something about it,” Guillen said. “I don’t have a pinch runner, a pinch hitter, anybody. If we’re going to keep him 15 days without doing anything, then I’m not going to put ‘J.D.’ in front of the ballclub.” Up Next? Garland, who can become a free agent after the 2008 season, was asked if he would like the Sox to approach him about a contract extension. “It’s a business, and that’s up to them. They can go back and look at my track record and say, ‘We can lose him to free agency and try to get somebody’ or ‘He’s going to give us 200 innings and a chance to win every night, and we aren’t going to get any better than that, so we might as well pay him,’ ” Garland said. “That’s going to be a business decision on their part.” More White Sox news can be found at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.