I'm a lifelong White Sox fan. I've been watching them longer than I can remember. I've seen all the pitchers come and go through the system. I've been hearbroken when some have left and cheered when others were gone. I remember Bobby Thigpen holding the single season record for saves. I remember Black Jack McDowell winning the Cy Young. I remember Esteban Loaiza almost getting the Cy Young while earning 20 wins. I remember Jim Abbott pitching with just one hand, Tom Seaver won his 300th as a Sox, Wilson Alvarez, Jason Bere, Keith Foulke, Tom Gordon.
But in all the time, I've never had a pitcher that I liked with the Sox more than Buehrle. Mark Buehrle reminds me of Greg Maddux. He is efficient, throws balls for the hitters to put into play and get out with, he works fast, he has command of his pitches, and he is consistently good. He goes deep into the start and gives more quality starts than anyone. However, unlike Maddux, runners are afraid to steal on Buehrle. He has an awesome move to first and is just as adept at picking a runner off as he is with getting a strike out. Over the past several years Mark Buehrle has been the ace on the staff. Other good pitchers have come and gone, but Mark is still here leading the team.
Mark is still young, very talented, and very consistent. Instead of looking to trade their best for some prospects the Sox should be looking to trade other pieces and build around Buehrle and Garland. There are a lot of teams that would like another bat in their line-up. I'd gladly take minor league talent for Jermaine Dye. Rob Mcowiak, he's a good utility guy, ship him off. Send Iguchi to a team with more Japanese players, maybe Ichiro could use a friend in Seattle. But pitching is the key. Atlanta has won for 13 years on almost pitching alone, keep that in place, build around it.