The annual talk out of Chicago that Mark Buehrle is on the trading block has started to bubble to the surface...
But I'm pretty sure the usual suspected landing spot -- the Cardinals -- can be scratched off the list this year. (Unless the White Sox always wanted to have Kyle Lohse on their staff.)
The St. Louis area native is under contract to make $14 million in 2011. And that's a price that's out of the Redbirds' range after they brought back Jake Westbrook and signed Lance Berkman. The Pale Hose have had their eyes on Cardinals centerfielder Colby Rasmus. But a Rasmus for Buehrle swap makes no sense on any level -- either financially or from an age or talent pool standpoint.
Buehle's a St. Louis are native who has often expressed a wish to pitch for the Cardinals. But he's said he might retire after this season. So, barring a trade deadline deal, it looks like he might not get his wish.
Even if Buehrle decides to play in 2012 and beyond, it doesn't look good for him to wear red anytime soon. Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse are under contract through at least the next two seasons. Chris Carpenter has an option for next year at $15 million with a $1 million buy out. Everything else being equal, I'd rather have a healthy Chris Carpenter than Buehrle.