Buehrle May Not be the Only One Leaving

By Joe Tichy

The biggest name in Chicago baseball players filing for free agency is Mark Buehrle.  The White Sox had three more aside from him file as well in Ramon Castro, Juan Pierre, and Omar Vizquel.  With Buehrle clearly being the most important to re-sign, is there a future in black and silver for the other three names?  The answer is most likely no for all of them.

Ramon Castro: While Castro has shown some promise in a backup role since being acquired for Lance Broadway, he broke his finger last year and missed most of the second half of the season giving the youngster Tyler Flowers some time to shine.  The White Sox have no intention of getting rid of the promising Flowers, who showed signs of what the Sox expected late last year.  Look for Castro to leave the South Side in the offseason.

Juan Pierre: After disappointing starts to the last two seasons, Pierre becomes quite the catalyst after mid-June.  Unfortunately, his defensive gaffes last year left Sox fans shaking their heads.  His stolen base numbers were way down while his caught stealing numbers were way up.  He never got into a good rhythm on the basepaths.  Pierre also falls into the Castro category as the younger Alejandro de Aza was given some time to shine when Carlos Quentin went down and Alex Rios was benched.  He may not be as quick as he used to be, but Pierre still has some baseball left in him.  If de Aza should ever fall into a slump, there is always Brent Lillibridge who is serviceable almost anywhere on the field with the exception of catcher and pitcher.

Omar Vizquel: No chance Vizquel sticks around as a player.  Ozzie Guillen was a big reason why he stuck around this year.  His arm is shot and he isn’t getting down on ground balls like he used to. He has given plenty of service to the game and would serve as a very good coach somewhere.  Maybe Ozzie will get him a job in Miami.  My guess is 100% no on Vizquel returning to the White Sox in 2012.

Castro and Vizquel weren’t breaking the bank and Pierre made a shade over five million last year, so these players being done will get some money off the books.  If I were a betting man, I would guess the biggest splash and offer the Sox make in free agency will be re-signing Buehrle to a two or three year deal.  Will Buehrle accept?  Sox fans sure hope so.

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