Last week, I took two looks at some trade possibilities. The first was general in nature, introducing two possible trade candidates, Mark Buehrle and Chris Carpenter. The second looked at Carpenter’s theoretical trade value. It went a little longer than I expected, so I pushed this part of the post off until now.
Let’s start with Buehrle’s contract status. He’s scheduled to make a healthy $14M this season, but there are no options for 2012. He does have a $25K escalator for winning a Gold Glove and a $15K escalator for making the A.L All-Star team. Buehrle is a “ten-and-five” guy (ten years in the league, five years with his current team) so he can veto any trade he’d like. Despite that, he is open to (possibly) accepting a trade. From the first post:
“But if it came down to it, I would do it for [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and the team because they have done enough for me.
That, of course, comes with the caveat that the White Sox fall out of the race by the midway point. Obviously, the Yankees cannot control that, but I’m sure they’ll keep an eye on the A.L. Central and at least inquire on Buehrle when the race shapes up.
Next, let’s move on to the projection. Like I did with Carpenter, I found his CAIRO projected FIP, 4.28, and calculated his projected WAR. In 199 innings, Buehrle projects to 2.9 WAR. But, again, we’ve got to remember that Buehrle would be joining the Yankees mid-season. Let’s cut the innings in half–99.5–and see what that gives us. At the same FIP, it gives us 1.5 WAR in 99.5. We’ve also got to cut Buehrle’s $14M salary in half to $7M. A $7M salary with 1.5 WAR gives Buehrle a trade value of $5.2M, again assuming that he’s going to be a Type-A free agent.
If we go back to our minor league ranking, we see that $5.2M lands us somewhere between a Grade B hitter and a Grade B pitcher. Who’s that again?
Having reviewed these options, while also taking a guess at the line of thinking the White Sox will employ, I do not think this (already theoretical) trade is going to happen. The Yankees are not likely to give up any of those players in a trade and the White Sox, the only team Buehrle has ever pitched for, will probably want more for him. Regardless of how well he could potentially fit, I would bet a hefty sum that Mark Buehrle will never appear in a Yankee uniform.