Switching to NL has certain appeal for Buehrle

Switching to NL has certain appeal for Buehrle

CLEVELAND -- The 160th victory of Mark Buehrle's illustrious career was achieved Wednesday night at Progressive Field during the left-hander's 46th career start against the Indians.

Buehrle also has made 49 starts each against Kansas City and Minnesota, with 33 coming against the Tigers. He has an 82-58 career record against American League Central opponents, underscoring his overall dominance. But the veteran free-agent-to-be told MLB.com on Thursday that moving to the National League for the final stage of his big league run could be appealing with the lack of opponents' familiarity.

"I've thought about that," Buehrle said. "One, just to see how another organization is run. This is all I've known.

"But yeah, it's one of those things where it would be kind of an interesting challenge to switch leagues and see how the National League is. Plus an extra bonus is you get to hit. Not that it's a good thing, but you will just be a little bit more involved in the game."

With one career homer and a .106 average, Buehrle might not want to base his next signing on the chance to regularly swing a bat. He does have the all-time lead in Interleague wins and Interleague win percentage, and a switch to the NL would allow him to move away from hitters such as the Twins' Michael Cuddyer, who has 104 career at-bats against him.

"With how many pitches you've thrown him, he's seen everything you've got and then some," said Buehrle, using the Cuddyer matchup as an example of AL Central familiarity. "You are trying to trick him and trying to invent stuff and make up stuff to try to get him out.

"You look at that part where you face guys that many times, it seems like the advantage switches over to them. Switching leagues where guys haven't seen you as much, it might favor you."

Ultimately, this free-agent process is a new experience for the 12-year veteran. So it will be learn as they go for Buehrle and his family.

"It's going to be sit back and see what happens," Buehrle said. "I've never been in this spot, so I don't know if we are supposed to make calls or waiting for them kind of thing.

"I'm willing or wanting to play for a couple of more years. Whatever teams are out there, I'll find a suburban place to live that's comfortable for my family and go from there."