I hazard to believe they are just looking for insurance in case one of the many oft-injured starters goes down for an extended period of time this season. This starter will come in the form of someone like Carlos Villanueva or a guy like Brett Cecil, but you never know, they may pursue one of the bigger name free agents.
What I'm gathering from all the discussion is that Toronto may actually want to flip Buehrle in another deal to acquire a younger pitcher with more untapped potential.
This is just a hunch, though, not a fact, so take it for what it is—an opinion.
Going into the start of next year, Buehrle's numbers against the AL East are very bad, as he's struggled against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and hasn't fared much better against the Tampa Bay Rays. With an improved Baltimore Orioles squad, his numbers may also rise.
Buehrle's a quality veteran arm, but he's an arm that I don't necessarily think fits in Toronto. He's a fly-ball pitcher, and in the Rogers Center, where fly balls are home runs and pop outs are long fly balls, pitching there might not be good for his numbers.
Add in the fact that he's a pit bull owner—in Toronto there are bylaws against owning a pit bull. Therefore, Buehrle may not even want to pitch in Toronto.
Flipping the 33-year-old Buehrle may not be a bad move for the Jays, as possibly dealing him to a team with an influx of outfielders or second baseman may get the Jays what they need. The Jays can land a positional player of need via trade, and yet still go out an try to sign a starting pitcher; the free-agent market for starters this offseason is much stronger than for second basemen.
One thing we all know is, the Jays aren't done—not by a long shot. Expect more rumors and trades to pop up as we close in on the Winter Meetings and the start of spring training.
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