Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sat down for an interview last week with Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt III. Multiple topics were discussed, including a few major hot stove items. Let's dive in…
- The Cardinals have seen a revenue loss of "several million dollars" this season, despite fantastic attendance numbers. DeWitt called the loss "a meaningful number," but said the club will still try to maintain a high payroll in future seasons.
- DeWitt isn't sure what John Smoltz's plans are for 2010. The 42-year-old right-hander has spoken glowingly about his time in St. Louis, but could opt to retire.
- DeWitt and Co. plan to make a "very strong long-term offer" to Matt Holliday before he hits the open market this winter. The Cardinals are optimistic about being able to lock him up. "He strikes me as someone who's not looking for the last dollar," DeWitt told Strauss. "He's looking to be highly compensated but in a place where he can live, raise a family and be in a very competitive baseball environment."
- Mark DeRosa is "the type of player" the Cardinals would like to keep "if possible." If not, David Freese could open the 2010 season as St. Louis' starting third baseman.
- DeWitt believes this winter is "the ideal time to ensure Albert [Pujols] finishes his career as a Cardinal," even though the slugger still has two years remaining on his current deal.
It should be an intriguing, if not busy, offseason in St. Louis. Beyond the players listed above, the Cardinals also face free agency with right-hander Joel Pineiro, backup catcher Jason LaRue, third baseman Troy Glaus, outfielder Rick Ankiel and right-hander Todd Wellemeyer. It's probably safe to assume that Pineiro, Glaus and Wellemeyer won't be back. Ankiel might also be on his way out.