Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Catching up on the Cardinals Rumors

Things have been pretty quiet for the Cardinals (and this blog) for a while, so its time to catch up with the team and where they stand with the Winter Meetings going on this week.

The Cardinals got their Christmas shopping done early this year, acquiring center fielder Peter Bourjos in a trade for David Freese and signing shortstop Jhonny Peralta, all before Black Friday.  As Derrick Goold points out, that should make for a pretty boring Winter Meetings, at least by comparison.

That's not to say that the 2014 Cardinals team is complete.

The main piece remaining for the Cardinals, that Bernie Miklasz and yours truly have both pointed out, is a right handed infielder.

Miklasz listed a virtual who's who of right handed infielders for the Cardinals to choose from, including Jeff Baker (my personal choice), Ryan Roberts, Mark Ellis, Scott Sizemore, Michael Young, Kevin Youkilis, Placido Polanco and Jayson Nix. 

As Miklasz points out, the guy the Cardinals are looking for would ideally give the team an option at second against left handers, potentially as a platoon with lefty Kolten Wong, or even as a fill-in if Wong is slumping. 

Beyond that, there are no glaring holes left to fill.

However, that doesn't mean that the Cardinals can't find other ways to improve their team.

For one thing, even though they have the shortstop for the near future, the Cardinals appear to still be looking for a long-term answer and have shown heavy interest in Cuban defector Aldemys Diaz.  Diaz cannot sign before February 19th and has drawn interest from several teams, so the Cardinals will have a battle on their hands if they want to sign him.

Other than that, there were rumors that the Nationals might make short stop Danny Espinosa available via trade, but those were quickly shot down.  Adam Kilgore of the Washington post noted that the Cardinals were already rebuffed when they inquired on him earlier this offseason.

Finally, we have Friday's Rule 5 draft to look forward to.  I previewed who the Cardinals left available back on November 21st and looking around the web, it appears that Boone Whiting is the odds-on favorite to be picked by some team.

On the flip side, the Cards might be able to find a useful shortstop in this year's draft, as Cubs farmhand Marco Hernandez is available.  The drawback to selecting a guy like Hernandez is that he hasn't played above class A ball and his development would likely be hindered by being buried on a big league bench for a season.

Overall, the Cardinals are sitting pretty and have time to wait for the right-handed utility infielder market to set itself before making a move there.  In any case, whoever they sign cannot be any worse than Ty Wigginton.

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