Report: Cardinals shopping Kyle Lohse to make room for Mark Buehrle

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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.”

Report: Yankees acquire James Paxton from the Mariners

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Yankees have acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners. Corey Brock of The Athletic reports that the Mariners will be receiving three prospects from the Yankees: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a good return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worry about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field. The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.