Various reports indicate that the Cardinals are trying to shop starting pitcher Kyle Lohse at the winter meetings in order to make room for St. Charles native and wanna-be Redbirds hurler Mark Buehrle.
Lohse is in the last year of a four-year, $41-million contract signed immediately after the 2008 season. He had a bounce back year in 2011 and led the Birds in several pitching categories after being sidelined or reduced in effectiveness by a forearm injury suffered when he was hit by a batted ball.
The story seeems a little bit unbelievable because Buehrle has probably drawn the most interest of any free agent starter -- and he is said to be commanding a contract of $14 million or so a year for three years.
The Cardinals have a wealth of young pitching. And it seemed like they were eagerly awaiting the expiration of Lohse's contract so they could populate the rotation with cheaper starters... And presumably afford an extension for Albert Pujols.
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Another fly in the ointment is that Lohse has a full no-trade clause. Unless the Cardinals can find an appealing deal -- perhaps by sending him closer to his Arizona home -- I don't know if a Lohse deal is going to be doable.
The Cardinals are also said to be willing to deal Jake Westbrook.