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(WSCR) With the Cardinals taking home the World Series, effectively ending the 2011 baseball season, it is now time for teams to beginning signing their free agents and making plans for 2012.
For the White Sox, their most pressing order of business will be retaining starter Mark Buehrle, who figures to end up in either Chicago or St. Louis.
“Buehrle is a more interesting case because he’s a guy that seemingly does not want to go other than two place, right? Chicago and St. Louis, and St. Louis is effectively closed,” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports told The Mully and Hanley Show. “Now, there are indications that he may be opening that up, but I’d be surprised if he landed anywhere but the White Sox on a two- or three-year deal. … I’d be surprised if he left.”
LISTEN: Ken Rosenthal on The Mully and Hanley Show
On the North Side, the Cubs picked up the mutual option on Aramis Ramirez, but he declined his part of the option.
“He’s betting on himself, obviously, as a free agent, and not necessarily unwisely because of the shortage of third baseman in the game right now,” Rosenthal said. “With the Cubs, he would’ve had $16 million guaranteed. As a free agent, he may have $40, $50, $60 million guaranteed. I’m not quite sure what the market will bare for him, but that’s what he’s looking for, the additional guarantee.”
New Cubs president of baseball operations will also have to decide what to do with troubled pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
“Even though he is erratic as a human being, he is a quality pitcher, still,” Rosenthal said. “There is that argument for keeping him. … Theo Epstein was just the general manager of the Boston Red Sox, who were desperate for starting pitching in the second half of the season — did he make a play for Carlos Zambrano? No, he ran from Carlos Zambrano. I don’t expect his opinion has changed any, but now it’s just a matter of maximizing whatever that asset is. … I would be surprised if he was back there in March.”