The Miami Marlins shocked the baseball world when they signed Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes during the offseason. Unfortunately for the Marlins, they weren’t enough to give them a fighting chance in the NL East. At 59-75 and 22.5 games back the Marlins aren’t competing anytime soon. Given their history of trading away expensive players, it would not be shocking to hear that anybody is available. It’s one of the main reasons why one of the more popular MLB Rumors involves a potential trade of Buehrle.
With three years and $52 million left on his contract it wouldn’t be easy to move Buehrle. He’ll be 33 next season, and his salary increases significantly on a year by year basis. Over the next three seasons Buehrle will make $11 million, $18 million and $19 million. The Marlins typically operate with a low budget, so it makes sense that they would backload the contract under the hopes of trading him. But the fact that the contract is structured like this also ensures that the Marlins will not get a good return on Buehrle unless they are willing to pay for a portion of the contract.
The southpaw has shown no signs of decline this season, going 12-12 with a 3.73 ERA. The crafty lefty is relying on his slider and change up more than ever this season, which is a major reason why his strikeout rate is up to 5.29K/9. He’s throwing fewer fastballs though, a sign that he’s recognizing his 85 MPH fastball isn’t as effective as it’s been in the past. While he’s never been a hard thrower, Buehrle is walking a tight rope as he needs to be perfect or he’ll risk getting lit up.
That being said, Buehrle has shown over the course of his career that he doesn’t need velocity to succeed. He’s an extremely talented pitcher, one who can shutdown even the best hitters in the game by changing speeds and mixing his pitches effectively. Any contending team would benefit by adding a workhorse like Buehrle, and given the difficulty of competing in the NL East the Marlins could get a solid return if they decide to move their ace lefty in the offseason.