When Dallas Keuchel threw a simulated game for scouts this summer as he auditioned for a midseason contract, the Cardinals were one of eight teams represented at the workout, he noted.

“Honestly, I was fully expecting an offer from them,” the Braves' lefty starter said Sunday at Busch Stadium. “Just never really came about.”

Keuchel, 31, had to wait until June for his market to thaw in large part because of the draft-pick compensation that tagged along with him until after the amateur draft. Keuchel’s agent, Scott Boras, approached the Cardinals a few times in the offseason to measure their interest in the former Cy Young Award winner. There was some uncertainty of Keuchel’s health, and plenty about his cost along with the lost draft pick. Matt Carpenter and Keuchel spoke at times through the winter about how he’d be a match for the Cardinals.