Cubs, Nationals May Have Interest In Buehrle

The Cubs and Nationals might be among the suitors for free agent lefty Mark Buehrle this winter.  Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune hears from a source that the Cubs "would be interested Buehrle if the price tag and years aren't astronomical."  And Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote yesterday that "some individuals with ties to the Nationals believe they will pursue Buehrle."

Buehrle, 32, has spent his entire career with the White Sox after they drafted him in the 38th round in 1998.  In each of the last 11 campaigns, he's reached a minimum of 201 regular season innings.  Last year Buehrle posted a 3.59 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.92 HR/9, and 44.9% groundball rate in 205 1/3 frames.    

Buehrle is a Type B free agent, and SI's Jon Heyman wrote last month that the White Sox are expected to try to re-sign him to a two-year deal.  Buehrle said in September he'd like to play two or three more years.  He considers the NL a potentially interesting challenge, and has talked many times about pitching for his home-state Cardinals.  However, the Cards don't appear to have a rotation opening for him.  Buehrle doesn't seem inclined to play too far from home, yet he may have reservations about going to the crosstown Cubs.  In theory, the Royals could be in play, but we haven't heard anything yet.

I ranked Buehrle 12th on my top 50 free agents list, predicting a return to the White Sox.  Make your pick for Buehrle and 49 other free agents for a chance to win great prizes in MLBTR's new contest.


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