The Cardinals have discussed Bryce Harper as part of their talks with Scott Boras about the agent’s various clients, though it remains to be seen if the Cards are truly pursuing the free agent outfielder, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. St. Louis wasn’t one of the teams that asked for a private meeting with Harper and his camp in Las Vegas, for instance. As part of a wide-ranging talk with Goold and other reporters yesterday, Boras didn’t rule any team out of the Harper sweepstakes, and made particular mention of the Cardinals’ resources. “This is about winning and it’s about a good franchise and ownership, and the reality of it is that franchise is worth billions of dollars and they’re a top-10 revenue team,” Boras said.
Here’s more on the Cardinals’ offseason pursuits…
- Jose Martinez has received a lot of trade interest from rival teams, GM Michael Girsch told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch and The Athletic’s Mark Saxon). The Cardinals have explored various possibilities for a Martinez trade, including moving him for relief pitching or even simply a prospect package. Though Martinez has hit very well in his brief career, he doesn’t have an everyday role in St. Louis now that Paul Goldschmidt is occupying first base, and Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler are in the corner outfield spots. Keeping Martinez as a backup at all positions is also less than ideal given Martinez’s poor defense. As part of a reader mailbag piece, Goold mentions that the Rays have had interest in Martinez in the past, and could be a fit again since Martinez is probably best suited for DH duties on an American League team. The right-handed hitting Martinez would be a nice complement to Tampa’s current left-handed hitting first base/DH mix of Jake Bauers and Ji-Man Choi.
- Goold covers a wide variety of Cardinals questions in his mailbag piece, and he also mentions that the team has been in touch with Francisco Pena about returning as the backup catcher. Jesus Sucre and Rene Rivera are also mentioned as names who could be comfortable with the limited playing time that comes with backing up workhorse catcher Yadier Molina. Goold cites former Oriole Caleb Joseph as one available catcher who is looking for a larger portion of playing time.
- The Cards haven’t been active on the starting pitching market, according to Goold, since the team is largely comfortable with its current rotation depth. Adding another starter can’t be totally ruled out if the right fit can be found at the right price, though the Cardinals generally seem to feel that there isn’t a clear enough upgrade available at a price point that works for them.