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.”
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.