Though he's not definitely leaning either way, White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle hasn't ruled out retiring after the 2011 season, when his current contract with the White Sox comes to an end.
"I've set out this year that I'm hoping to play for a couple more years," Buehrle told "The Danny Mac Show" Wednesday (via Chicago Tribune ). "I'm not going to just go out there and play for the money or play in a spot that I don't want to be, just to play for a couple years to get some more money. It's going to have to be a contender and somewhere where me and my family are comfortable. If it happens, good, and if not then if I have to walk away from this game after this year I think I'll be happy with everything I've done."
What Buehrle has done is go 148-110 for 11 seasons with the White Sox. He's made four All-Star Games, finished fifth in Cy Young voting once, won two Gold Gloves and thrown a pair of no-hitters (one a perfect game).
He turns 32 this month and, as a left-hander, it would be pretty surprising he couldn't find work under a pretty solid two-year deal from someone -- even if not the White Sox, who Buehrle mentions might be pining to have Chris Sale join the rotation next year. His 4.28 ERA and 1.40 WHIP weren't great last season, but serviceable enough to stay in a rotation. Plus, his biggest value is that of a durable workhorse. Perhaps the most impressive thing on Buehrle's resume is the fact that he's thrown at least 200 innings in 10 consecutive seasons.
An innings-eater like that at age 32 won't stay on the free agent market too long. If he wants a job, he'll find one. If not, Buehrle will retire with a very admirable major-league career.
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