Backing out when 3/ $39MM was not acceptable was sensible. Buehrle would have been nice but not necessary for this team. Quite a few people here think the best reason to sign Buehrle would have been to make Lannan expendable. Lannan is OK for the role of change of pace LHP between SS and JZ. Not as good, but not a disaster. I know Lannan would not have been the key to a deal for Upton or Bourjos, and I'm pretty sure he is not going to be the key to a deal for Span, either.
Blue says Buehrle is a low break down risk. I can accept that he might be lower than most guys his age given the low, low stress he puts on his arm. Maybe he's Boomer Wells without the gut. I still hate going longer than 3 years for a pitcher in his 30s. The Marlins had better hope he continues to give up contact that finds fielders. For me, if I'm spending $15MM a year for 4 years, I want Ks, I want a lot of them, and I don't want just 2 or 3 Ks per 9 more than the walks my pitcher is allowing.
He and Lannan are more similar than I thought over the past 4 seasons. Here are some graphs comparing the two. Lannan allows more BBs and has a higher WHIP but gives up fewer homers. I'm OK with Lannan serving the innings eating lefty whose ERA is better than his peripherals role for a while. I might even think Lannan is more likely to do what he's done the past 4 years for the next two or 3 than Buehrle is given their age and stage of their careers.
And I'm not big John Lannan fan, either.
I posted this in November. They aren't that similar when you go deeper into the stats....
WAR over the last 4 years
Beuhrle - 4.6/5.4/3.7/3.4
Lannan - 1.3/1.1/1.4/1.2
ERA Last 4 years
Beuhrle - 3.79/3.84/4.28/3.59
Lannan - 3.91/3.88/4.65/3.70
FIP Last 4 years
Beuhrle - 3.94/4.46/3.90/3.98
Lannan - 4.79/4.70/4.47/4.28
Beuhrle - 2.14/1.90/2.10/1.97
Lannan - 3.56/2.97/3.08/3.70
So basically, while playing in the AL with the DH, Beuhrle has a much higher WAR, better ERA's, better fielding independent stats and walks guys at a much lower rate while striking out more guys.