The Cardinals signed Franklin to a two-year extension during the season. Then, in a space of a three days after the season, they exercised the $8 million option for 2008 on Isringhausen and re-signed valuable setup man Springer to a one-year deal.
Isringhausen was 32-for-34 in save opportunities this year and a perfect 20-for-20 at home. Opponents batted only .179 against him, but one of the problems was that the Cardinals were so inconsistent that Isringhausen had to pitch 29 times with no save at stake.
Springer had an 8-1 record with a 2.18 ERA this season and held opponents to a .181 average. Only six of 27 inherited runners scored after Springer came into a game.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--Manager Tony La Russa wasn't willing to commit to coming back as manager until he knew more about the general manager's position, which is being filled, on an interim basis, at least, by John Mozeliak.
"Let's see (if the new GM) believes I'm the right guy to manage the club," La Russa said. --La Russa had bristled when he read a statement by chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., who said, "We need to know something relatively soon, that's for sure.
"It isn't open-ended. If Tony's not coming back, we need to look for other candidates."
--DeWitt, in seeking a new GM, interviewed 32-year Peter Woodfork, the assistant general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The club also was prepared to talk to Chris Antonetti, the 33-year-old vice president of baseball operations for the Cleveland Indians, and Tony LaCava, the player personnel director for the Toronto Blue Jays.
--OF Sean Danielson, who made the Texas League All-Star team while batting .291 with Class AA Springfield, was sent to Boston as the player to be named in the trade that brought RHP Joel Pineiro to St. Louis this summer.
BY THE NUMBERS: 66 -- Number of innings RHP Russ Springer pitched this season and number of batters he fanned.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It wouldn't be that strange for the manager to already be in place." -- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., on possibly having a manager (Tony La Russa?) before he hired a new general manager.
Springer said he had wanted to come back all along, but given the recent shakeup, "I wasn't sure what direction the team was going for next year.
"(The Cardinals) offered me a fair contract, market value, and (said) it was important for them to remain competitive."