KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Not so fast on all that talk that Mark Buehrle is set to retire at the conclusion of the season.
Buehrle, who has not been on the Toronto Blue Jays' active roster for either playoff series thus far, said he has not made a decision to call it quits at age 36, despite reports to the contrary toward the end of the regular season.
In fact, when he does deem his career to be over, either by choice or because no team is interested in his services, Buehrle said he will walk away quietly.
"I snuck into this league, and I'm going to sneak out," Buehrle, a former 38th-round draft pick, said before the Blue Jays' on-field workout in advance of the American League Championship Series, which begins Friday at Kansas City.
Buehrle has shown he remains a feisty competitor, even if he is not pitching in the playoffs. For all three bench-clearing incidents in the ALDS with the Texas Rangers, Buehrle was one of the first Blue Jays players off the bench and at the front of the discussion.
One problem: Players who are not on the active roster can be on the bench but cannot enter the playing field at any point during the game.
Buehrle said he was ejected from the dugout in the seventh inning after coming onto the field following a dispute between his teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, and Rangers reliever Sam Dyson. Buehrle waited out the rest of the game from the tunnel that connects the clubhouse to the dugout and then charged the field to celebrate with his team following the final out of the game.
Buehrle acknowledged pitching with a sore shoulder at times this year and reportedly had a cortisone shot late in the season, but he said if he was added to the Blue Jays' roster today he would have no problem competing. He said he has typically dealt with some type of shoulder soreness for most of his career.
Buehrle was 15-8 this season with a 3.81 ERA and tied the Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber for the American League lead in complete games with four. He was allowed to start the final game of the regular season on one day of rest in an attempt to reach 200 innings for the 15th consecutive season, but he recorded just two outs, giving up eight runs, although none were earned. He closed the season with 198 2/3 innings.
As for playing next year, Buehrle said he will listen to offers but has no plans to sign a minor-league deal with an invite to big-league camp. He is interested only in a guaranteed contract.