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Dispute over no-trade clause may signal end of Buehrle, ChiSox contract talk

Mark Buehrle was willing to go forward and make a deal with the Chicago White Sox that didn't include a no-trade clause, but his overture was rejected.

Mark Buehrle

Buehrle

Starting Pitcher
Chicago White Sox

Profile

Now it appears that his contract talks have broken down for good, and he may soon be traded.

"Mark loves playing for the White Sox," said Jeff Berry, Buehrle's agent, on Saturday night. "He has the utmost respect for everybody in the organization. In an effort to bridge the contractual impasse, Mark offered a sensible alternative to the full no-trade clause. Those alternatives were rejected, and Mark hopes for resolution before the second half."

The White Sox had offered Buehrle a four-year, $56 million deal, and Buehrle had insisted on a full no-trade clause. According to a source familiar with negotiations, the White Sox asked for possible solutions to the impasse. Buehrle's side suggested a new structure, without a blanket no-trade clause -- a four-year, $56 million deal, and if Buehrle was traded, then a $17 million player option for 2012 would kick in. This way, if Buehrle were traded, then his deal would get closer to his current market value; five years and $73 million is equal to what Roy Oswalt got with the Astros last fall.

But the White Sox turned down the proposal, and continue to market Buehrle aggressively.
Buehrle threw eight scoreless innings Saturday, and as he walked off the field after the top of the eighth, he waved his cap -- perhaps for the last time with the White Sox.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.