Having dropped out of the Brian Giles sweepstakes before the outfielder re-signed with San Diego, the Cardinals were concentrating their energies on free-agent pitcher A.J. Burnett.
Ownership, which seemed to prefer that the Cardinals go after a high-powered arm rather than an outfielder, anyway, was pondering how to offer up the requisite five-year contract with backloading involved.
Agent Darek Braunecker said, "We're moving forward with many clubs. The Cardinals are still in this thing, but I wouldn't want to imply or comment on the level of their (interest). That's the prerogative of the club."
Braunecker said he had received multiple offers for his client -- each of them for five years -- and the asking price reportedly is $10 million a year.
Indications are that the Cardinals are discussing their willingness to offer a five-year contract to Burnett although it has been their practice not to offer a contract of that length to pitchers.
Burnett, the most sought-after starter in this fall's crop of free agents, has a 95 mile an hour fastball and a 49-50 career record.
Meanwhile, Barry Axelrod, the agent for longtime Cardinals right-hander Matt Morris, said he had the impression the Cardinals' interest in his client depended on their other pursuits.
The Texas Rangers have made a two-year offer to Morris, as has another club. The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers also appear interested.
"I've talked to (Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty) about Matt and (free agent Mark Sweeney), and as with other teams Walt has his pace for these things," Axelrod said. "It's an approach that is tried and true.
"Last year it was, 'How can they sit there and watch Edgar Renteria leave and then get David Eckstein off the non-tender list? How does that happen?' It's been my view of things after dealing with them over the years that they can be laid-back, that Walt holds things very close to the vest, and it's how they approach it.
"You can't argue with the results."
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