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Start up the Cardinals speculation: Mark Buehrle likes the idea of pitching in the NL

Sep 23, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

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Earlier this week impending free agent Mark Buehrle talked about his uncertain future with the White Sox and how he might even consider retiring at age 32, but yesterday he explained that moving to the National League intrigues him.

Buehrle is from Missouri and for years now there’s been speculation about him eventually ending up with the Cardinals, but his comments to Scott Merkin of MLB.com were about the NL in general:

It’s one of those things where it would be kind of an interesting challenge to switch leagues and see how the National League is. … You look at that part where you face guys that many times, it seems like the advantage switches over to them. Switching leagues where guys haven’t seen you as much, it might favor you.

It’s going to be sit back and see what happens. I’ve never been in this spot, so I don’t know if we are supposed to make calls or waiting for them kind of thing. I’m willing or wanting to play for a couple of more years. Whatever teams are out there, I’ll find a suburban place to live that’s comfortable for my family and go from there.

While not quite the innings eater he once was, Buehrle will likely top 200 innings for the 11th straight season and his ERA, strikeout rate, and strikeout-to-walk ratio this year are all nearly identical to his career numbers, so he should draw plenty of interest from teams looking to add a veteran starter atop the rotation.

St. Louis is one of the few teams that seems set with starters for 2012, as Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, Kyle Lohse, and a rehabbing Adam Wainwright are all under contract, but I’m guessing they’d find a way to fit in Buehrle if he wanted to give them a hometown discount.

  1. The Baseball Idiot - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    If Buehrle signs with the Cardinals, I just know it will be Tony LaRussa’s fault.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      Wrong! It will be Theo Epstein’s fault! Get with the meme!

  2. dlindstedt2 - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Why does it have to be with the cardinals. you could speculate that the brewers could be in the running as well. Get narveson out of there. Lock up a pitcher with the impending doom that Greinke doesn’t sign. You can use the money that you would have paid Fielder to pay Buehrle.

    It makes just as much sense. You can always find bats in baseball. You aren’t as lucky to find pitchers.

    • chadh88 - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      Buehrle has spoken several times in the past about his dream to play for the Cardinals. He is a St Charles (20 minutes from Busch) native and has always said he would move back after baseball if he didn’t get a chance to play with the Cardinals eventually. Fans always fall in love with local products and he seems like the kind of guy that would take a little less to play where he wants on what should be a good (for the NL Central) Cardinals team now that we have 5 starters, our outfield wrapped up (if we stick with Jay) and a good defensive shortstop (9th inning yesterday notwithstanding).

      This would leave a great situation to have Westbrook in case someone goes down. Be it Waino not being healthy or Carp or Lohse having more issues we always seems to need an extra arm. And McClellan could prepare to be a fixture in the bullpen instead of being jerked around.

      Now its just up to the Dewitts to open the pocketbook to get him and keep Pujols.

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