Cardinals Have $6-7MM Left To Spend

Now that Matt Holliday's mega-contract is all but official, the Cardinals have approximately $6-7MM left in their budget according to's Matthew Leach. The team must now figure out how to allocate those funds, because they still have to address third base and the back of the rotation, plus the bullpen and bench.

"It's a great question and one that I don't know the answer to today," (GM John) Mozeliak said on Thursday when asked what comes next. "[Assistant GM John] Abbamondi, myself, Jeff [Luhnow, scouting director and farm director] and the group will sit down tomorrow. I'll then also get with Tony [La Russa, manager] over the weekend and we'll kind of prioritize what we think, if we had a bullet to use, what would we use it on. Once we get to that point, then we'll look at what's out there and how to use that resource if it's there. We may stand pat. But we'll see." 

As Leach points out, the Cardinals do have in-house options at third (David Freese) and the fifth starter's spot (Jaime Garcia, Mitchell Boggs, Blake Hawksworth), though the bench – particularly a lefty hitter – is an area the team will have to go outside of the organization to upgrade. 

We've seen names like Miguel Tejada, Joe Crede, and Felipe Lopez mentioned as possible fits for the Cardinals in recent weeks.

48 Responses to Cardinals Have $6-7MM Left To Spend Leave a Reply

  1. diehardmets 5 years ago

    Ryan Church just makes to much sense for the Cards:
    -He’s a 4th OF
    -He’s a lefty off the bench
    -He’s a defensive stud with decent speed and a decent bat
    -He can be had on the cheap


    • S8P7W 5 years ago

      Great fit, but I think he would get more playing time elsewhere.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Not sure. I’m definitely loving his glove and his arm, but I suspect he still sees himself as a starter. Also I wonder whether his up & down bat fits the Cards’ design – even as a defensive sub?

      Any idea what he’s asking? That could make the difference too.

    • Cards_Fanboy 5 years ago

      Church would be perfect in my opinion. He was a stud before the concussions. Hopefully he can return to form. He is a cheap risk either way.

      • angryredmenace 5 years ago

        Church has never been and never will be a stud.Unless you’re definition of stud is average player who continuously gets injure.

        • Cards_Fanboy 5 years ago

          I guess that’s just like, your opinion, man.

  2. Is it just me or does that seem like a lot of holes to fill for only 6-7 million? I’m not thinking they can afford any of Tejada, Lopez or Crede. Maybe only 1 but then what?

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Then we use something called a “farm system” something yankees don’t know too much about.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Maybe the reality is that given their budget they just can’t address every hole in this offseason. They made one gigantic impact move in signing Holliday long-term, but now they might just have to address the most glaring need that $$ & available talent allow, fill in the rest in-house, and resume upgrading when the situation permits. Most teams don’t have the luxury of completely rebuilding/upgrading in a single season so they wouldn’t be the first to take this route.

  3. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Felipe lopez-3.5MM

    John Smoltz-2MM plus 1.25MM incentives

    Ryan church/ankiel- 1MM ( though ankiel would have to take a discount)

    • jrav 5 years ago

      Thank you someone with some sense, lol. Everyone on here thats not a Cardinals fan is like “oh they messed up big time” theyve got FOUR holes to fill with 7 million dollars, they screwed themselves. Felipe Lopez made 3.5 mil last year, hes a switch hitter that will play 3rd, and hits above .300. Sign him for 3rd, Smoltz for the bullpen set up spot at 3 mil, have Garcia as our 5th starter, and then Craig or Stavinoha as our 4th outfielder, the way I add it up, we can solve all of our needs with 6-7 mil

    • Very nice Ferrariman! Smoltz will most likely be a little more expensive, but I like where you are headed. Church will get at least 2mill.
      Church- 2mill
      Smoltz- 4 mill
      Greene- minimum+ some incentives

  4. InTheKZone 5 years ago

    Umm, to be honest, the Cardinals really don’t need anything other than a veteran in the bullpen and possibly a bargain bin OF. Give Freese a shot at 3rd and Boggs/Garcia/Hawksworth/McClellan can fight for the fifth spot. I’d like to see Valverde or Dotel in a Cards uni.

    • mynameistyler 5 years ago

      We tried Dotel before… not so much with the pitching, that guy.

  5. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Yeah valverde would be awsome, but I’d rather have smoltZ

    • bomberj11 5 years ago

      Really? Would you rather have a solid closer, or an old unsure starter? What I mean by unsure is the health, and his age. You don’t certainly think he’s gonna pitch a full season do you? I’d much rather have Valverde.

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        Smoltz can play any pitching role short relief/long relief/ plain relief/ set up/ even spot closer. He would be less than HALF of what valverde is asking

        And most importantly: he won’t cost us a first round draft pick

  6. stl_cards16 5 years ago

    WOW! as a Cardinals fan I’m really surprised/happy to hear that….I was completely fine with filling the rest of the spots within! Freese can do an average job at 3rd and the same with Hawksworth in the 5th spot in the rotation. I think the biggest need is for some help in the bullpen. But it probably wouldn’t hurt to go into the season with a little room in the budget to have room in case a glaring need comes up. I think this team is poised to make a deep run in the postseason already. Anything else added would just be a plus!

  7. Ryan Church would be a great signing and TLR always get his players playing time.
    Alfredo Amezaga and Ryan Freel would be good cheap utility players.
    Aubrey Huff wouldn’t be a bad signing.
    One bullet that the Cards have is Ludwick. I would like to see if they could trade him for prospects ( hopefully pitching prospects). Then they could sign Church and use Craig/Mather/Stavinoha or some of the other players in the system to platoon with him.
    Another thing would be to see what it would take to trade for Mike Lowell. I’m sure that Boston would pick up alot of his contract just to get him gone now that they have the 3rd baseman they want. Lowell would be a great rbi guy, that plays a decent 3rd base, and has always kept a decent batting average.
    Fixing the back end of the rotation is easy. Use the pitchers we have already in our system.

    • Redbirds16 5 years ago

      Don’t trade Ludwick. The Cards are built to win this year and he’s a key component. If the Cards are failing miserably at midseason, yes, maybe then you look to retool for next year. But as of now, you don’t trade your 3rd most potent bat.

      Lowell might fit depending on the asking price, but he’s not in the same category as Lugo for Boston. Lowell still has value and the BoSox know it. Although I don’t think Boston did a very good job of evaluating talent last year with Smoltz and Lugo, so I guess it’s possible their asking price on him would drop. But you’ve gotta figure an AL team would trade for Lowell before the Cards would due to the DH. Lowell should have more value in the AL right now in his career.

  8. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    This is Sort of a pipe dream but, what if we brought Edmonds back? The guy has hardly lost much pop, 340 AB 20 HR. Still plays an above average defense, and is a lefty off the bench. I’m sure he would take a moderate discount to come back to the cards

    I remember in an interview last year, he said he feels as if he is in better shape now than he was 3 years ago from taking better eating habits

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Have you thought about getting Bob Gibson back to pitch in relief?

  9. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    All juicers… I didn’t know McGwire could play 9 positions at the same time

  10. STLforever 5 years ago

    I said yesterday that the Cards should try to get 2 of these 4 players: Smoltz, Church, Dotel, and Lopez. We could use Smoltz to start if the 5th rotation spot is a failure OR he could come out of the bullpen. Church replaces Ankiel being the LH bat of the bench and 4th OF. Dotel could be great for the back end of the bullpen and could close whenever Franklin struggles or needs a day off. Lopez i feel is our biggest need. Alot of people are saying that we should go with Freese as our 3b, but wasnt this similar to the idea last season? Barden/Thurston platooning 3b, it went well the first month, but then it went downhill. Im not sold on Freese yet. And also, Brendan Ryan seems to be injured often, so Lopez could fill in at SS if Ryan is injured or Freese doesnt work out well. These are my ideas and i think if we can get 2/4 here, we would be set and looking good for the season.

  11. BradyAndersonsSideburns 5 years ago

    They may want to look into finding a 5th starter. Granted Penny and Carpenter were both relatively healthy last year, but yeah, you never know. It’s always good to have a little extra insurance.

  12. Andrew_beavs 5 years ago

    Names like Miguel Tejada, Joe Crede, And even Ryan Church are fun to think about. BUT,… wait a minute, who said something about trading Ludwick? He’s proved for the last 3-4 seasons his incredible worth, and still gets no love. i just don’t get it.

    • The reason I said we should look into trading Luddy is because he is at the point where he is going to get a real MLB contract. No more arb. With the large contracts the Cards have right now, there is no way we can sign him to a contract that he would except. So why not trade him now when we have him undercontrol with a very reasonalble contract. In case you don’t get it: a player who hits with power, average, and has a reasonable contract are very good aspects for a trade . Trading him is a way to replenish the farm system or atleast get some high end talent into our system. Wouldn’t it be nice to trade and get young talent back instead of always making trades where we lose our young talent?

      • brstreet9 5 years ago

        That’s great, but who do you replace his 30HR bat with? Batman and Robin can’t do it alone…

        • Look I would love to keep Ludwick for years to come. But that’s not gonna happen unless he does an Ankiel and forgets how to hit and then signs a minor league contract to stay. Ludwick is close to being a free agent. Then we probably won’t get anything for him except for maybe a supplemental pick. Right now we could possibly get a premium pitching prospect in a package from a team looking for a righty power hitter. The Cards have a few outfield prospects that need playing time. I would like to see if the Cards can work out a deal for Lowell from Boston to play 3rd (Boston would pick up a large part of his contract). Sign Ryan Church (lefty bat) and then along with Craig, Mather, Robinson, Jones, Stavanoha, etc, fill the right field spot. Lowell is a proven rbi guy that has kept a good batting average. But trading Ludwick is something that can help us because we need to get some quality pitching talent in the upper level of the minors.

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            I’d rather keep luddy then trade for Lowell. The rotation is already an injury risk, no need to jeopradize the line up as well. Plus I doubt the red sox will take ludwick.. Where would they put him? On JD Drew’s lap?

          • I didn’t mean trade Ludwick to Boston for Lowell. I meant for the Cards to work out a trade for Lowell. Then trade Ludwick to maybe Atlanta, Texas, or maybe the Angels for prospects (hopefully pitching). Then sign Church. That would give us Pujols, Holliday, Lowell, and Church as proven rbi guys. Use Church against righties and use one of the young right handed hitters against leftys. In my view this is a much better lineup with alot more protection for Pujols and Holliday. We still have Molina, Shoemaker, and Ryan with high batting averages and Rasmus with a year under his belt. We have Freese waiting in the wings at third. Craig, Mather, Jay, Jones, Robinson, and Stavinoha waiting for a spot in the outfield. We still have Greene and Lugo as utility infielders. In my view, it’s a much better and deeper team, not to mention that the prospects we get in the trade would be something we desprately need. But it’s won’t ever happen, so……

  13. saltyiguana24 5 years ago

    Barry Bonds…

  14. Taskmaster75 5 years ago

    Personally, i think we need just a straight innings eater. Our rotation is far from guaranteed. Carpenter isn’t likely to stay healthy all year, and Penny may not fulfill his potential. I think John Garland would be a good option as a failsafe incase somebody goes down. Maybe 3-4 million for about 220 innings?

    • BradyAndersonsSideburns 5 years ago

      Garland would definitely be a good pickup

  15. perfectlineup2010 5 years ago

    skip schumaker
    julio lugo
    albert pujols
    matt holiday
    ryan ludwik
    yadier molina
    felipe lopez
    colby rasmus
    chris carpenter

    chris carpenter
    adam wainwright
    brad penny
    kyle lohse
    joh garland

  16. im not much of a numbers guy, but it sounds somewhat impossible to do while filling our other needs. but adding miguel tejada to that lineup sounds viciously sweet.

  17. Cuddy Fox 5 years ago

    They might fill from within. They only have 2 more years before the lease is ended and then they can have a higher payroll. STL might even up up to $140 million dollar range then, so they might only use players like Freese and Garcia tell 2012. That might be also the reason why They are waiting tell after next after the season before they re-sign Pujols. THey can pick up his option and then sign him for a lifetime contract.

  18. Fangaffes 5 years ago

    For a decent bullpen guy the Cards could get Mike Lowell and most of his salary at 3B.

  19. Vossome93 5 years ago

    The cards need to focus on a relief pitcher that can close. Because obviously, even though he did an unbelievable job, Franklin cannot be used too much. He did great until September and October when he blew almost every other save. So he needs to be used less often so he doesn’t run out of gas. I would use him about every 6 out of 7 save opp.

  20. cardfan 5 years ago

    how much would it take to get tejada just curious (and would he be worth it).

  21. KeithLawSucksInStl 5 years ago

    I think Crede would be a good fit, that is if he stays healthy. He’d be a 20-25 HR guy and only get around 3 mil, which would leave 3-4m for a decent reliever that can close when Franklin is being rested.

    Let the 3 or 4 young pitchers fight it out in Spring Training and see if someone steps up. I mean, one of those guys has GOT to be better than Wellemeyer, right?

  22. KeithLawSucksInStl 5 years ago

    I haven’t seen anything about this, anyone have a link to a story?

  23. revpauld 5 years ago

    While Leach is saying the Cardinals have only $6-7 million to spend, if they are serious about a $100 million payroll, they actually have closer to $14 million. They have about $7 million left following either signing or going to arbitration with Ludwick and Schumaker, their only two players eligible at this time. But $2 million of Holliday’s 2010 salary is deferred; $2 million of Chris Carpenter’s 2010 salary is also deferred; and $3 million of Albert Pujols’ 2010 salary is deferred as well. Add that $7 million to the $7 million we have left after full salaries are counted, and voila!, you have $14 million. That could address all the Cardinals’ needs, if used wisely.

  24. stlfan03 5 years ago

    i think it would be great if the cardinals went after a starter like ben sheets. we could probably get him at a low price, because he wasnt signed all last season. that way we move jaime garcia and blake hawksworth to the bullpen. with the left over money go after ryan church, joe crede, or felipe lopez….which ever we’re more in need of.

  25. Vossome93 5 years ago

    I would be shocked if the cards spend the last of their money on a starter, especially Sheets. I think he wants at least 10M, but I don’t know for sure. They already have the best 1-2 combo in baseball and are in the top 3 overall rotation in baseball (they might be #1 but Boston and the Yankees are just as good.) THEY NEED A RELIEVER THAT CAN CLOSE FOR FRANKLIN SO HE ISN’T OVERUSED. Freese is good for 3rd and they can go with Garcia/Boggs as the #5 starter(LaRusa will use Hawksworth as a reliever because he thinks he is a good innings eater). And finally, they need a left handed outfielder. I would love to have Ank. back, but I think he’ll sign in the AL.

    Overall, I grade the cardinals offseason up until this point a A-. They did a good job resigning Holliday(AND DID NOT OVERPAY). And they also signed Penny and did overpay. HOW WOULD YOU GRADE THE CARDINALS OFFSEASON FAR?

  26. stlfan03 5 years ago

    if not sheets, and with ryan church signed, i think the cards go after joe beimel, dotel, or guillermo mota. with what ever money we have left we go for felipe lopez or rick ankiel.

  27. Taskmaster75 5 years ago

    And yes, that’s the sound of jealousy I hear….

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