The Cardinals lost free-agent
right-hander Edwin Jackson to the Washington Nationals. That they weren't able
The Cardinals at the time were seeking veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt at something considerably less than $10 million.
The Cardinals officially are committed to a projected rotation of right-hander Chris Carpenter, right-hander Adam Wainwright, left-hander Jaime Garcia, right-hander Kyle Lohse and right-hander Jake Westbrook. Lohse and Westbrook are entering the final seasons of multiyear contracts that include full no-trade provisos while Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia will be on the first year of extensions or options that the club agreed to last season.
The Cardinals' projected payroll, pending the signing of another pitcher or backup player, is projected at close to $114 million. That would be a high for the franchise, even without 1B Albert Pujols, who left for the Los Angeles Angels.
GM John Mozeliak still is seeking pitching help. But the Cardinals didn't jump to sign RH relievers Chad Qualls and Brad Lidge, both of whom were signed by other clubs in the $1 million range.
Bryan Anderson, a
left-handed hitter, might get his best shot at the backup C job behind Yadier Molina.
RHP Kyle McClellan was signed for $2.5 million but might be dealt, considering that he isn't a starter anymore nor does he figure prominently as a late-innings reliever.
OF Shane Robinson probably will get one last crack at a reserve role. Robinson has value because he is a right-handed hitter although he was nothing for seven in late-season duty last season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It s never going to be the same. You're never going to have the same team as you had last year, as much as you want to. It's a profession with a lot of turnover."
- LF Matt Holliday.
The Cardinals are coming off a World Series title, but general manager John Mozeliak realizes the big turnaround in the season came in late July and early August when the club changed 20 percent of its roster with five additions. Now that first baseman Albert Pujols is gone, the Cardinals are entering a new era, and they replaced some of Pujols' offense by signing OF Carlos Beltran.
OF Carlos Beltran (free agent from
Giants), LHP J.C. Romero (free agent from
1B Albert Pujols (free agent, signed with Angels), RHP Octavio Dotel (free agent, signed with Tigers), C Gerald Laird (free agent, signed with Tigers), INF Nick Punto (free agent, signed with Red Sox), INF Ryan Theriot (free agent, signed with Giants), OF Corey Patterson (free agent, signed minor league deal with Brewers), RHP Edwin Jackson (free agent, signed with Nationals).
LHP Arthur Rhodes.
OF Allen Craig (knee surgery) is out until May.
RHP Adam Wainwright is in