Shannon Stewart Rumors
There's not much left among free agent outfielders; Shannon Stewart may be the best bat still standing. On Friday, the Marlins observed Stewart at a private workout. They're considering him as a center field option.
As Clark Spencer writes, Stewart hasn't played center since 2000. Even then it was just one game. He hasn't played the position even semi-regularly since playing 44 games there in 1998 with the Blue Jays. Stewart will be 33 soon and has problems with both feet. Even if he could hit like a center fielder, he probably can't stay on the field regularly or play credible defense. The Marlins would probably offer a million bucks plus incentives, and then use Alex Sanchez as the backup plan.
I haven't addressed the Cardinal outfield situation since March 5th. Since then, many things have changed:
Kevin Mench is hitting .300/.328/.591 with 9 home runs. He's been driving in a lot of runs as the Rangers' sixth place hitter. What's more, Jason Marquis has stunk it up (6.00 ERA) and John Koronka came out of nowhere to toss four quality starts in seven tries. Can't see any kind of Mench for Marquis swap now.
Also, Jim Edmonds is hitting .240/.333/.417, and Will Carroll thinks he may have to shut it down for a while to get completely right again.
Toss in a strained elbow for Sidney Ponson (who has a 2.81 ERA) and a sore back for Mark Mulder, and the Cardinals can't afford to deal a starting pitcher right now.
The need for an outfielder persists. So Taguchi isn't hitting. Larry Bigbie was activated yesterday, and he deserves a shot. According to Cardinals Diaspora, a recent Buster Olney report indicates interest from Walt Jocketty in Torii Hunter or Shannon Stewart. As noted in the post, Stewart is more their style. He makes $6.5MM this year and is off to a .295/.352/.384 start. PECOTA expects his age 32 season to finish around .272/.335/.406. Is that really any better than the .264/.334/.423 season projected for Bigbie?
The Craig Wilson option remains a viable one, and Luis Gonzalez's .832 OPS ain't bad. Cards fans dream of Miguel Cabrera, but Dontrelle Willis seems more likely to be dealt this summer. Haven't seen any smoke on that one for a while, though the Cards did show interest. Anthony Reyes remains the best trading chip, as he has a 3.62 ERA and 35/5 K/BB ratio at Triple A. About a week ago, Viva El Birdos noted some interesting developments surrounding a Reyes start.
A few more possibilities, based on my own speculation: Eric Hinske, Reggie Sanders, Alfonso Soriano, Emil Brown, Brady Clark, Jose Cruz Jr., Matt Lawton, David Dellucci, and Victor Diaz.
If I were GM? I'd probably start with Lawton but see what it would take to get Reggie back.