Here’s an interesting one.
Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune was told by a source that the Cardinals are trying to shop right-hander Kyle Lohse in an effort to make a run at free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle.
Buehrle is from Missouri, so many have long speculated about him potentially winding up with his hometown Cardinals. They don’t appear to have an opening in their rotation right now, what with Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, a rehabbing Adam Wainwright and the aforementioned Lohse all under contract for 2012, but things could change if the veteran southpaw is willing to give them some sort of hometown discount.
However, considering that Buehrle one of the most coveted pitchers on the free agent market, he would probably be turning down a lot of money elsewhere. We learned earlier today that he has received offers from three teams believed to be in the three-year, $36-39 million range.
Lohse, 33, is owed $11.75 million next season in the final year of a four-year, $41 million contract. While he’s coming off a solid bounceback year, a trade could prove difficult, especially when you consider that he has a full no-trade clause.
For what it’s worth, when asked by B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest about the possibility of adding another starting pitcher, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said, “I don’t really think so.”
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.