Your Wednesday links, with more to come…
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that the Cardinals' payroll is down about $8MM heading into the '09 season.
- The Washington Post's Cameron Smith believes the Pudge Rodriguez signing "is a huge step for Houston."
- A bit of a shock out of Pirates camp: The club optioned left-hander Tom Gorzelanny to Triple-A Indianapolis.
- Chicago-area reporters don't expect the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family to be finalized before Opening Day.
- Minor league free agent Rob Flanigan has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
- According to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, 24-year-old pitching prospect Adam Miller's career might be "in jeopardy as a result of decreased range of motion and strength in his right middle finger."
- Mark it, dude: Tim's weekly chat is going down on Thursday at 2pm CST.