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Sox reach out to Mark Buehrle with arbitration offer

By offering arbitratifree agent Mark Buehrle Sox will get draft pick if he signs with another team. |  Charlie

By offering arbitration to free agent Mark Buehrle, the Sox will get a draft pick if he signs with another team. | Charlie Riedel~AP

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Updated: December 26, 2011 8:55AM



The White Sox offered salary arbitration to free agent Mark Buehrle on Wednesday.

The move, which was expected, means the Sox will receive a draft pick as compensation should the 32-year-old left-hander sign with another team. Buehrle has until next Wednesday to accept or ­decline. He is not expected to ­accept, but he might still negotiate with the Sox.

The Sox declined to offer arbitration to free-agent left fielder Juan Pierre, who is hoping to catch on with another team. The Sox are expected to replace Pierre in the leadoff spot with Alejandro De Aza. Whether De Aza plays left field or another outfield position has yet to be determined.

The decisions on Buehrle and Pierre were expected.

Declining arbitration allows Buehrle to continue negotiating with other teams. On Monday, Buehrle and his agent met with Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo at Buehrle’s home in St. Charles, Mo. Buehrle met with Ozzie Guillen’s Miami Marlins in South Beach two weeks ago.

The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and possibly the Cubs are believed to have varying levels of interest in the popular and durable Buehrle.

The World Series-winning Cardinals would be a natural fit, but starting pitching is not a ­glaring need for Buehrle’s hometown team.

The Sox haven’t ruled out ­re-signing Buehrle, but general manager Ken Williams seemed pessimistic about the possibility last week. The Sox are free to negotiate with Buehrle and any of their other free agents, catcher Ramon Castro and infielder Omar Vizquel, regardless of whether ­arbitration was offered.

Cubs make arbitration offers

The Cubs offered salary arbitration to free agents Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez, both “Type B’’ free agents, assuring draft-pick compensation if the corner infielders sign with other teams. Pitcher Kerry Wood, also a Type B free agent, was not offered arbitration. The Cubs are expected to negotiate an extension with Wood.



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