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.”
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.