Major league sources said the Texas Rangers have become serious suitors for the free-agent left-hander, whose chances of returning to the White Sox appear to be slim.
The Rangers have their own left-handed free agent on the market in C.J. Wilson, but the Rangers are believed to prefer Buehrle because he can be had for a three-year deal. Wilson is reportedly seeking a six-year deal on the open market for as much as $120 million.
When asked about their pursuit of free agents, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest suggested where the Marlins might looking next after signing closer Heath Bell and shortstop Jose Reyes. They also have reported interest in Albert Pujols.
“We would like to improve our starting pitching depth,” Beinfest said during the press conference to announce the Bell signing. “[It] is something we've been out front with.”
The White Sox planned on letting other teams set the market for Buehrle before deciding if he fit into the budget. With an aggressive pursuit from the Marlins and Rangers, not to mention any of another dozen suitors, Buehrle’s price tag figures to be out of reach for his long-time club.
ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine contributed to this report.