White Sox general manager Ken Williams spoke with free agent Mark Buehrle last week and told him how much he's appreciated in Chicago.

He probably said goodbye, too.

And with it perhaps the hope of playing in the postseason.

After discussing the somewhat-surprising trade of closer Sergio Santos and characterizing the Sox' plan for 2012 as a rebuilding phase, Williams had this to say of Buehrle: "I hear he's a very popular man, and he's going to be richer than he is.''