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Buehrle earns 10-and-5 rights

7/6/2010

Veteran White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle didn’t pitch on Monday night, however the pitcher and his family had cause to celebrate.

At 12:01 a.m. on July 6, Buehrle became a 10-and-5 man in the major leagues, meaning he’s played 10 years in the majors and the last five with the same team, giving him veto power over any trade the White Sox would want to include him in.

“I think when the whole contract thing was going down, I wanted a no-trade clause because I wanted to know I’d be here the whole time,” Buehrle said of the four-year extension he signed with the White Sox on July 8, 2007. “I give props to [Sox owner] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and [general manager] Kenny [Williams] , they kept their word. Jerry called me into the office after I signed and told me, ‘We’re not signing you to trade you. You’ve got my word that we’re not going to trade you.’ And he held up to it.”

Buehrle was initially called up from the minor leagues right after the 2000 All-Star game, and helped that Sox team in a small way, winning the AL Central division title as a rookie.

“I don’t know if I really helped them,” Buehrle said. “I had a couple of starts and a couple relief appearances. It was a fun start for me, but I never had any expectations of being in the big leagues for 10 years.”

In 2007, the White Sox, in the throes of a down season, were considering trading some of their veterans, and as Buehrle tells it, he almost left the team that year.

“It was down to eight teams that I was going to,” Buehrle said. “It seemed like within just a few hours I was going to be out of here. After I finally signed my contract, I talked to [assistant GM] Rick Hahn, and he told me it was pretty close to me getting traded and packing my stuff. I was thankful it didn’t happen.”

Part of the new Buehrle contract included a no-trade clause for the rest of 2007 and 2008. The team had the option to move him last year and up until July 5 of this season. Buehrle, along with Paul Konerko, has been the face of the organization for an entire decade. When the trade talk was initially happening in 2007, Buehrle was hopeful that if he did get traded, it would be to his hometown team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

I asked Buehrle if he’d accept a trade now, even though he has the control over any deal.

“If it gets down to the last year of your career, and the team really wants to move you, and there’s a better situation for them to rebuild for the future, I’d have to consider helping this organization out, considering everything they’ve done for me and my family,” Buehrle said. “But hopefully I’ll finish my career as a White Sox player.”

Buehrle has the distinction of throwing more pitches than anybody in baseball since 2001, in over 2,000 innings pitched.

Highlights of his career include a perfect game on July 23, 2009 against the Tampa Bay Rays and a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007. Both feats were accomplished at U.S. Cellular Field.

The St. Charles, Mo native was selected by the White Sox in the 38th round of the June Amateur draft in 1998.

--The White Sox have won 15 of their last 19 games. They are now a season-best five games over .500 for the second time this season.

--The Sox improved to 8-1 in their last nine games at home.

--Monday night’s winner, Gavin Floyd, has now won back-to-back games for the first time since July 11 and July 20, 2009.

--Closer Bobby Jenks made his first appearance since June 24 vs. Atlanta. Jenks had been on MLB’s bereavement/family medical emergency list.

-- Carlos Quentin had his eighth career multi-homer game. He now has 8 HR and 16 RBIs in his last 13 games.

-- The White Sox had their fourth straight sellout on Monday night. They have five sellouts all season.