A.J. Burnett slipped out of the Cardinals' grasp because of The Fifth Year, and Lboros over at Viva El Birdos thinks the team was being cheap. He mentions their new stadium, radio and TV deal revenue, and two postseasons in a row. Given that A.J. Burnett was the only free agent pitcher out there who could be a difference-maker, what are Cards fans to do?
Well, they shouldn't count Walt Jocketty out just yet. While perhaps not the best trade in his history, Jocketty did make a move on one of last Javieyear's hot commodities, Mark Mulder. He's fully capable of doing the same thing for Javier Vazquez. The Indians appear to be the front-runner for Vazquez's services, but the Cards might be able to pull something off.
After a perusal of the Cardinals' Baseball America Top Ten Prospects, only Anthony Reyes is Major-League ready among a thin crop. It seems that Reyes, and only Reyes, could bring Vazquez, or any other name starting pitcher, to St. Louis. It wouldn't be the first time Jocketty dealt a near-ready righthanded starter for a proven veteran version. However, should the Snakes insist on a position player (they wanted Coco Crisp), Vazquez won't be joining the Cardinals. If Jocketty can't come up with his #2 starter, expect Jason Marquis to remain with the club.
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