There is no guarantee Mark Buehrle will pitch next season. But if he decides he is not yet ready to retire, he would join the St. Louis Cardinals, according to The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott.
Lance Lynn was recently shut down with Tommy John surgery and is not expected to be healthy enough to pitch at any point in 2016. As a result, the expectation is the Cardinals will pursue a temporary veteran starter and Buehrle would likely prove to be exactly that.
Although it is unclear if the Cardinals would be interested in Buehrle specifically, he might be the ideal candidate. He has a notable amount of major league experience and would be a quality left-handed option to insert into the rotation. Since he has expressed interest in retiring in the past, Buehrle might not be too expensive either.
Buehrle, 36, was raised relatively close to St. Louis and could be interested in returning at this point in his career. He has performed well during a three year stint in Toronto, where he has been pitching since the Marlins traded him at the end of 2012.
Over 198.2 innings with the Blue Jays last season, he pitched to a 3.81 ERA and 4.26 FIP. He tossed over 200 innings in both 2013 and 2014 and has proven to be a durable front of the rotation starting pitching option.
Buehrle pitched well for Toronto but does not appear to be interested in returning despite the Blue Jays' desire to add add starting pitching depth.
Though there remains a possibility Buehrle calls it a career, if he wanted to pitch for another season, the only realistic team would likely be the Cardinals. But there is also a chance Buehrle is not pitching for a major league club in 2016.