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Yankees Starting Pitching - Target #2: Mark Buehrle

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Coming in at no. 2 on my list is Mark Buehrle, longtime starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. He's one of the most attractive options on the free agent market and it's for good reason. 

Buehrle has quietly been one of the most consistent pitchers in all of baseball over the past decade. First and foremost, Buehrle has pitched over 200 innings for eleven consecutive seasons for Chicago. We all know just how invaluable a workhorse is in the rotation, and that's exactly what Buehrle has been for his entire career. A man that can consistent give his team six or seven innings of good baseball should be highly desirable. 

As far as his SO/9 and BB/9, his career numbers are overall respectable with a SO/9 rate of 5.07 and a BB/9 rate of 2.05. Buehrle isn't recognized as an overwhelming pitcher that will blow away hitter after hitter. Much like Andy Pettitte, Buehrle pitches to contact and benefits from overall solid fielding behind him. 

With that being said, he has a terrific ability to hit his locations in order to induce favorable results. He's hardly strayed far in any of his seasons from his career averages of 45.9% GB and 34.5% FB. His velocity hasn't dipped much as he's hovered around 85-87 mph on his fastball, 82-83 mph when throwing his cutter, low 70s curveball and 78-79 mph changeup. He's never encountered reworking his pitching style due to diminishing velocity, which should make him a pretty surefire bet that he won't suddenly lose his magic touch. 

Buehrle has pitched 498 innings against the American League East in his career to the tune of a 3.89 ERA. That's 2.5 seasons worth of innings against fairly difficult competition. Being a proven pitcher in the American League should add even more value to his contract due to the fact that the AL is noticeable more difficult to maneuver through as opposed to the National League. 

He's also never experienced a major injury throughout his career.

Put honestly, every team knows what they're getting when they look at Mark Buehrle. It's that simple. 

So what can we expect the market to look like for him? It's tough to tell. Buehrle should have plenty of suitors lining up to request his services, including the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Chicago CubsBoston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. He'll be 33 in March and he's likely looking for a three or four year deal worth no less than the $14 million per season he earned between 2008-2011. 

Buehrle would be a healthy complement in the rotation to fellow southpaw CC Sabathia. If I were Brian Cashman, I'd strongly consider talking business with him. 

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