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Offseason Outlook: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals are next in our Offseason Outlook series.  Their likely commitments for 2009:

C - Yadier Molina - $3.25MM
C - Bryan Anderson - $400K
1B - Albert Pujols - $16MM
2B - Adam Kennedy - $4MM
SS - Brendan Ryan - $400K
3B - Troy Glaus - $11.25MM
IF - Aaron Miles - $1.4MM+
IF/OF - Chris Duncan - $439K
LF - Skip Schumaker - $400K
CF - Rick Ankiel - $900K+
RF - Ryan Ludwick - $411K+
OF - Brian Barton - $400K
OF - Joe Mather - $400K

SP - Chris Carpenter - $14MM
SP - Adam Wainwright - $2.6MM
SP - Kyle Lohse - $7.125MM
SP - Todd Wellemeyer - $1MM+
SP - Joel Pineiro - $7.5MM

RP - Chris Perez - $400K
RP - Ryan Franklin - $2.5MM
RP - Kyle McClellan - $400K
RP - Jason Motte - $400K
RP - Brad Thompson - $414K+
RP - Josh Kinney - $400K
RP -

Buyouts: Mark Mulder - $1.5MM

That's about $78MM, plus arbitration raises for Miles, Ludwick, Wellemeyer, and Thompson.  The Cards apparently had around $30MM to spend before signing Lohse, so now they have roughly $21MM.  Unloading Kennedy is unlikely to save much money.

I don't have much to add beyond the musings of Larry Borowsky of Viva El Birdos.  The Cards will probably look to re-sign Felipe Lopez, maybe Jason Isringhausen at the right price.  They'll ink a few lefties, maybe a swingman pitcher, and a backup catcher. 

It seems the Cardinals can either spend good money on a shortstop or a reliever, but probably not both.  It could boil down to Rafael Furcal or Brian Fuentes; you know I prefer Furcal.  It's easier to piece together a bullpen than find a starting shortstop.

John Mozeliak could also pursue a trade.  Some thought to be available who might fit: Brian Roberts, Dan Uggla, Jack Wilson, B.J. Ryan, George Sherrill, Kevin Gregg, and Huston Street.  Top prospect Colby Rasmus figures to be off-limits; you just can't trade a potential star center fielder.  And Ankiel, a Scott Boras client, is a free agent after '09.

The Cardinals will always be fearsome with Pujols anchoring their lineup.  If they can find a shortstop this winter and keep the rotation healthy, they'll contend.


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