Robin Ventura made Mark Buehrle plea

DALLAS -- An unexpected face-to-face encounter gave new White Sox manager Robin Ventura the chance to make a plea to free agent Mark Buehrle.

Ventura said he recently ran into Buehrle on the streets of New York, of all places, and the two had a brief conversation.

"Obviously, I just wanted him to know what I thought of him and what he has meant to the organization because I've been around," Ventura said. "I know what he has meant."

Ventura did not say if he knew whether or not Buehrle was in New York on business or pleasure. The Yankees are one of at least 14 teams that have shown an interest in the veteran left-hander.

Buehrle apparently didn't let Ventura know his plans. And his reaction to being told by Ventura that he is still wanted by the White Sox was typical Buehrle.

"He just smiled and kind of laughed," Ventura said. "I didn't expect him to do anything different. He gets it. I get it too."

With so much interest in Buehrle, the White Sox are not expected to be able to match free-agent offers he might receive. The White Sox could be in play, though, if Buehrle offers a hometown discount. The White Sox are the only organization he has ever known and by all accounts he has been comfortable on the South Side.

"I've been in his situation and I know what's going through his head," Ventura said. "Obviously, I think he likes Chicago. He likes the White Sox. But again, it's where you are at in your career and what's getting offered and what's getting thrown at you.

"Sometimes you get a little confused and when you look at what you really want, if it could happen, he would probably want to stay. But there's a lot of people who really want him and that's just something that he has to weigh and he probably is getting better offers."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.