Cardinals Hot Stove League Update

The St. Louis Cardinals are not likely to make any additional significant moves prior to spring training, with arbitration taking a place on the front burner for the time being.

The Cardinals reduced their list of potential arbitration cases by signing RHPs Todd Wellemeyer and Brad Thompson and OF Chris Duncan to contracts recently, leaving outfielders Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick contracts unresolved.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the Cardinals remain hopeful a deal can be made with Ryan Ludwick in time to avoid an arbitration hearing in late February. A deal with Rick Ankiel, who is represented by superstar agent Scott Boras, is less likely.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals aren't expected to cry Wolf anytime soon. The Cardinals have expressed in an interest in free agent left-hander Randy Wolf this winter, but appear now content to wait until spring training to get a true read on the condition of Chris Carpenter before making any moves to address any rotation issues.

There is some speculation that Wolf may entertain even a one-year offer. At least nine teams, including the Cardinals have indicated a continued interest in Wolf, with the Los Angeles Dodgers appearing to be the front runners for his services. That said, if it's true and if the word gets back to the Cardinals front office, that Wolf may consider a one-year deal, the Cards may be interested in reopening discussions with the 32-year-old pitcher and make a new offer.

The scattered reports that a deal for Wolf with the Dodgers is imminent may be premature, "I can't make that assumption," Wolf told Wednesday afternoon. "I really can't."

The news that Wolf may take a one year deal is an indication of just how cold the free agent market has gotten this winter and how will hit Wolf's wallet this season.

Wolf had a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007 with an $8 million option with a $500,000 buyout. The Dodgers failed to exercise the options, with both sides eventually coming together on a $4.75 million contract. Wolf then agreed to a similar one-year deal with the San Diego Padres last season, but was traded just prior to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, to the Houston Astros, where he went 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 12 starts. According to earlier reports from, Wolf previously turned down a three-year, $28.5 million offer to return to Houston this winter. (OUCH)

A 10-year major league veteran, Wolf is 90-78 lifetime with a 4.26 ERA, and is coming off a season in which he racked up 190 1/3 innings and 162 strikeouts. He recently turned down an offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks that was believed to be a one-year deal worth $4 or $5 million with options for up to two more years. It would be interesting to see if he would turn down a similar offer from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals' third baseman Troy Glaus may be out longer than the 12-week estimate that has been reported. "It could be shorter; it could be longer," general manager John Mozeliak recently told reporters "Frankly, we didn't even know (surgery) was a possibility until recently."

Glaus, who hit .270 with 27 homers and 99 RBIs last year, is expected to participate in baseball-related activities for part of spring training. However, it is believed the 12-week estimate does not cover a probable injury-rehabilitation assignment.


Former St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants first baseman Will Clark, has rejoined the Giant's organization as a special assistant. He will begin his duties in spring training, working with big-leaguers and minor-leaguers.

Free agent corner infielder Rich Aurilia, 37, is a valuable corner infielder who could be a short term fill in for the Cardinals at third base. Aurilia finished 2008 hitting .283 with 10 homers and 52 RBI. He posted a .903 OPS against left-handers, so he could still be useful in a platoon role for St. Louis.

Former St. Louis Cardinal outfielder, So Taguchi, has been invited to spring training with the Cubs, he's a long shot to make the club, but could provide some depth, if he has a decent spring or there is an injury opening a slot for him.

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