39-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Mark Buehrle in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Mark Buehrle Contract Information:
Agreed to a four-year, $58 million deal with the Marlins in December 2011.
Buehrle isn't ready to announce his retirement but also hasn't been throwing, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports.
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Mark Buehrle Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Mark Buehrle Defensive Stats
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Mark Buehrle: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Mark Buehrle.
There has never been any secret about what fantasy owners are go to get from Buehrle. He will almost certainly give 200-plus innings and a better than league average ERA, but that doesn't mean you necessarily want them. They are often accompanied by an elevated WHIP and paltry strikeout rate. In leagues that use innings or starts cap, his strikeout liability is much more severe. Earlier in his career, he averaged 16 wins per season, but that is down to just 13 over the last nine seasons. Buehrle's season started strong as he entered the All-Star break with a 2.64 ERA before posting a 4.64 ERA the rest of the way. A guy like Buehrle is impossible to sell high via trade, but you need to have the resolve to simply ditch him at the first sign of trouble after you get 19 starts of a mid-2.00s ERA. It is better to gamble on a young arm than roster the Buehrles of the world in mixed-league formats.
Buehrle got off to a rocky start in his first season with the Jays, before eventually settling down to finish with his typical numbers. He started 30-plus games for the 13th year in a row, tallying a 4.15 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, and 2.6 BB/9. While it may be fair to expect some decline in Buehrle's age-35 season, the lefty is still a good bet to throw approximately 200 innings at a league-average level. One thing to watch out for is a drop in his strikeout rate, as his 6.1 K/9 in 2013 was his best mark since becoming a full-time starter in 2001. That career-best strikeout rate wasn't backed by improved peripheral numbers, so a decline is almost guaranteed.
In the first year of a four-year, $58-million pact signed with the Marlins, Buehrle turned in a typical campaign with his 12th consecutive season reaching the 200-innings mark. A consistency king, Buehrle doesn't offer much with in terms of strikeout ability (career 5.1 K/9) but he has developed into one of the most reliable pitchers in the game. An offseason move into the AL East may sour some on Buehrle's potential, but keep in mind that this is a guy who has had plenty of success pitching half of his games at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago over the first 11 seasons of his career.
Another year and another 200-plus inning, 30-plus start, 10-plus win season for Buehrle, who has eclipsed those totals in 11 consecutive seasons. He continued to pitch in a fashion similar to previous years, pitching to contact with a mid-80s fastball. Buehrle signed a four-year deal with the Marlins in December where he will be reunited with former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. The move to the National League could provide a slight uptick in his strikeout rate, but his success may ultimately hinge on the quality of the defense behind him in Miami.
You can call Buehrle a lot of things - a soft tosser, a quick worker - but "consistent" must be on the top of that list of adjectives. Last year marked his 10th consecutive season with at least 200 innings and 10-plus wins. Unfortunately, his K/9IP bottomed out at 4.2 and he struck out less than 100 on the year. He continually pitches to contact, so his ratios will vary depending on the defense behind him. Look for more out of the same out of Buehrle in 2011.
No write-up of Buehrle’s 2009 season would be complete without mention of his July 23 perfect game against the Rays. Of course, no write-up of Buehrle’s 2009 season would be complete without mention of his struggles after the perfecto. He went 2-7 over his final 13 starts with a .321/.361/.487 line against and 10 home runs allowed. He started 30 games and reached the 200 innings threshold for the ninth consecutive season, and his 1.252 WHIP was his lowest since 2005. Buehrle is the kind of pitcher who depends on his defense, and four of the guys behind him to start the 2010 season were not there in 2009. The White Sox seem to be focused on keeping him in shape and healthy as he makes his way into his 30s, and his stats should not change too much. Don’t expect another perfect game (or no-hitter) on draft day.
Throw out 2006, when his home run rate spiked and took his ERA with it, and you have one of the most consistent starters in the AL. Buehrle's flyball tendencies in a tough park mean there's more downside than upside, however; that 2006 ERA of 4.99 is within his range, especially when you consider that he allows a lot of unearned runs each year. The better the Sox defense, the better Buehrle will be.
Buehrle signed a four-year, $56 million extension with the White Sox in July. That's like taking a nice chunk of change to board the Titantic. He'll flip back and forth between seasons like his last two campaigns depending on if the balls off the bat find leather or grass. Watch what happens on the left side of the Chicago infield very closely. The recently acquired Orlando Cabrera's defense has been slipping the last few seasons at shortstop and that can't be good for Buehrle either. He'll be back as Chicago's No. 2 starter but he really could go either way through no fault of his own. When you rely on your defense as much as Buehrle does the results from year-to-year can be erratic.
Buehrle was an All-Star in 2006, which shows how beneficial it is to have your own manager in charge of the roster. But Buehrle put together the poorest season of his career, inexplicably winning 12 games despite a 4.99 ERA and allowing 247 hits in 204 innings. He was second only to Zach Duke in hits allowed, tied with teammate Jon Garland. As much as he and the team tried to find a flaw in his mechanics or pitch selection, Buehrle's struggles continued. That's a bad sign for a guy who has never impressed with anything except for his location and guile.
Buehrle may not have killer pure stuff, or eye-popping peripheral numbers, but over his career he's emerged as arguably the most valuable fantasy pitcher in the AL, given his consistently excellent performance and reliability. Rather than splurge on aces, the White Sox's full boat of kings and jacks proved to be the winning hand in 2005, and Buehrle is the home-grown paradigm of that philosophy.
Buehrle suddenly found an out pitch in 2004, adding more than 30 K's to his previous career high while at the same time posting a career best walk rate. A bump in home runs spoiled what otherwise would have been a career year, but Buehrle's numbers were still very respectable. Given his consistency, lack of health problems and signs of an upswing, Buehrle should be near the top of any list of AL fantasy pitchers.
Buehrle's numbers, while still respectable, slipped almost across the board -- wins and K's were down, hits allowed and ERA were up. Given his less-than-dominating stuff the trend is not encouraging, but unless the numbers are hiding an injury there's little reason to expect a total collapse.
Apparently 2001 wasn't a fluke after all. He gave up more hits last year, but otherwise his numbers were just about the same, and while a higher strikeout rate would be more reassuring, he seems to do just fine only fooling some of the hitters some of the time. He's one more good year away from officially being the next Tom Glavine.