Not only are the Florida (soon to be Miami) Marlins meeting with Jose Reyes and flying to the Dominican to meet with Yoennis Cespedes, but they are also hot on the trail after some much-needed rotation depth. They are set to talk today with former White Sox starter Mark Buehrle:
The Marlins' No. 1 priority is upgrading their rotation. Buehrle, 32, played for new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen with the White Sox, but he is a native of St. Charles, Mo., and might prefer to stay in the Midwest, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking. (Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports)
Buehrle is no ace, but he is above average and incredibly durable. He has thrown over 200 innings in each of the last 11 seasons -- his entire career, minus a brief 50 IP stint in 2000 when he was still a prospect -- and he's posted an ERA below 4.00 in four of the past five seasons. He doesn't strike out many hitters (13% strikeout rate in 2011), but he walks only around 5% of hitters and makes batters hit the ball on the ground (45% grounder rate). He won't take Miami by storm, but he would be an ideal dependable mid-rotation starter.
Of course, it's possible that Buehrle doesn't want to actually play with the Marlins. Rumors have suggested that he'd prefer to play in the Midwest with the Cardinals, so his interest in Florida might be tepid. If the Cardinals aren't interested in Buehrle, though...well, who knows? Miami looks like quite the ideal destination for free agents. Beaches, great weather, incredible tax rates, and a re-energized, competitive team - what more could a player want?