Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talked to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, who indicated that the team has less money to spend than "many have surmised" (Hummel’s words). Mozeliak makes the important point that "money off the books" doesn’t mean much since so many players are set to earn raises.
Back in September after the Kyle Lohse signing, Derrick Goold and Joe Strauss wrote:
The Cardinals had a significant hunk of contracts expire Sunday and have said they plan to be aggressive this winter with about $30 million in flexibility.
If $30MM was the number at the outset, the Cardinals have spent about $15.5MM of that on ’09 salaries for Lohse, Khalil Greene, and others (not including Lohse’s signing bonus and Mark Mulder‘s buyout).
Mozeliak told Hummel that he’s focused more on starting pitching than bullpen help currently. Trading an outfielder remains a viable option. Mozeliak also explained his infamous "low-hanging fruit" comment.