Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle is reportedly undecided on weather he will return for another season or call it quits after 16 Major League seasons, he tells ESPN's Doug Padilla.
After landing in Kansas City on Thursday, Buehrle told Padilla that he has not made a decision one way or another and is willing to listen in on multiple offers before making a final call. Despite earlier reports, there is no official word on Buehrle's status for 2016.
All indications so far lead towards Buehrle returning to the Blue Jays starting rotation for what would be his 17th and officially his last season. The one thing Buehrle did tell Padilla for sure as of right now is the fact that he is only interested in signing a guaranteed contract, meaning he will not sign a minor-league deal as he looks to end his career on a big-league stage.
Buehrle, 36, came ever so close to continuing his 14-straight seasons in which he threw at least 200 innings. The left-hander came 1.1 innings short of extending the streak, but in his final appearance of 2015 against the Tampa Bay Rays he struggled to get through the first inning, having given up nine runs which is very unlike his regular self.
Buehrle ended the year having pitched 198.2 innings, having given up 22 home runs and 100 runs on 214 hits, while owning a 15-8 record and posting an ERA of 3.81 in 32 total games played.
As for his career, Buehrle has pitched 3,283.1 innings, having given up 361 home runs and 1,542 runs on 3,472 hits, while owning a 214-160 record and posting an ERA of 3.81 in 518 total games played.
As noted by MLBTradeRumors, Buehrle will technically be eligible for a qualifying offer, though given his age and shoulder problems late in the year the Blue Jays probably won’t be keen on risking a $15.8MM price tag on him in order to collect a compensatory draft pick.
Buehrle received a cortisone shot late in the season while having problems with his left shoulder which forced him out of action for one week prior to him making his final two starts.
Buehrle was not placed on the club's playoff roster and will remain off the roster as the Blue Jays get set to begin the first of a seven-game ALCS tonight at Kauffman Stadium against the Kansas City Royals at 7:30 PM EST.
As noted by Padilla, should the former 38th round draft pick's career come to an end, he will "sneak out," doing the opposite of what he did coming into the league back in 2000.