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Skip Schumaker Rumors
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have released Adam Kennedy. They’ll still be responsible for his $4MM salary. The move was "apparently made at the strong urging of manager Tony La Russa," who didn’t want Kennedy to be his starting second baseman.
Skip Schumaker has been working out at second base, and could play there if the Cards don’t add anyone to replace Kennedy. Strauss mentions Brendan Ryan and a few others as possible competitors for the job.
This is good news for Orlando Hudson, who has another possible bidder for his services.
A few Cardinals notes this evening coming out of the team’s Winter Warmup.
- Before Matt Holliday was traded to the A’s, Cards outfielder Skip Schumaker thought he’d wind up in Colorado as part of the rumored Holliday-Ryan Ludwick deal. Schumaker said, "I thought that was a done deal, and from everything I heard and from pretty good sources I thought I was definitely out of here."
- Ludwick and Rick Ankiel are two of the team’s prominent arbitration cases. Ludwick said the Cards have not opened up extension talks. Ankiel, a Scott Boras client, is eligible for free agency after the season. Ankiel’s quote about the future: "Absolutely, I’ve told [Boras] I want to work in St. Louis. But for me, it’s just focusing on having a healthy year. If you don’t play, nobody’s going to want you."
- The cheapest autograph at the Warmup: $5 for Adam Kennedy. Kennedy drew Tony La Russa’s ire for not attending last year.
12:41pm: Marc Topkin heard chatter that the Rays and Cardinals are talking. Perhaps Ankiel or Ludwick could interest Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile Scott Lauber says the Cards may be interested in Madson as a potential closer.
8:36am: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals remain focused on short-term deals for starters. Possible names include Oliver Perez, Andy Pettitte, Brad Penny, and Randy Wolf. They’ll meet with Wolf’s agent by tomorrow afternoon.
John Mozeliak now seems open to a two or three-year deal for a reliever. He could trade an outfielder like Ryan Ludwick for a top guy, but shot down the idea of Ryan Madson. Makes no sense, Madson is only under team control for one more year. Schumaker and Chris Duncan are trade bait for Mozeliak.
8:28am: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says the Cards have interest in Blue Jays lefty Scott Downs. Downs is owed $7.75MM over the next two seasons.
8:01am: We know the Cardinals chatted with the Braves about Mike Gonzalez and Blaine Boyer. Gerry Fraley says they also had trade talks with the Phillies, hoping to trade an outfielder for a reliever. Rick Ankiel and Skip Schumaker are apparently popular with other teams.
MONDAY: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also checked in with Mozeliak, who said, "That one’s not happening – at all" in reference to a Cards-Holliday trade. The Cardinals balked at the required player package. Mozeliak was irritated that (inaccurate) details of the talks leaked to the press. The Cards are looking at other things now, though Strauss’s source believes Holliday talks could be resurrected.
SUNDAY: Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News talked to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, who admitted the idea of a Matt Holliday trade is dead. The Rockies sought Ryan Ludwick, Skip Schumaker, and Mitchell Boggs from the Cards, and talks hit a wall.
The A’s may still be in play, while Ringolsby says the Phillies did not discuss Holliday with the Rox during the GM meetings. The Phils are unwilling to part with Shane Victorino. Ringolsby adds that the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees have expressed interest in Holliday. Joe Strauss recently said the Mets are in pursuit, and Bill Ladson had him as a Nationals target.