DALLAS — The Nationals felt confident and “good about ourselves” with the offer they made to Mark Buehrle, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said at roughly 3 p.m. CT. By 3:50 p.m. FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal was reporting that Buehrle had agreed with the Miami Marlins for four years and $58 million.
It was a significant blow to the Nationals who made Buehrle their top free agent choice, offered what they believed was a “legitimate, fair, market-value offer and we’re hoping that he likes our opportunity and comes aboard,” Rizzo said.
Instead they were left to turn to Plan B and forced to face Buehrle several times each season for the next four years. The Nationals were willing to go three or four years for a pitcher, a source told The Washington Times earlier this week, but would not go more. They did not offer Buehrle four years sources said.
The Nationals have interest in Roy Oswalt, who’s been considered a backup plan for many teams interested in both Buehrle and C.J. Wilson and though the Nationals are not all that intrigued by Wilson, if his price tag comes down they may be more interested. They also feel they have a solid stable of pitchers in the organization already.
“We have a Plan B,” Rizzo said. “We feel we have good depth in starting pitching right now with what we have in-house. Mark is our Plan-A free agent and we liked his fit for us and he’s the main free agent acquisition target that we’ve had and we’ll see where that leads us.”