Even though they lost RHP Matt Morris to San Francisco, the Cardinals don't have to remake their rotation too much, what with the expected emergence of RHP Anthony Reyes. They still need at least one regular outfielder and one more right-handed reliever and perhaps an everyday second baseman.
RHP Braden Looper (free agent from New York Mets), 2B Aaron Miles (trade with Colorado), OF Larry Bigbie (trade with Colorado), LHP Ricardo Rincon (free agent from Oakland), C Gary Bennett (free agent from Washington), SS Deivi Cruz (free agent from San Francisco), RHP Juan Mateo (Rule 5 draft from Chicago Cubs), RHP Dennis Tankersley (minor league free agent from Kansas City).
2B Mark Grudzielanek (free agent, signed with Kansas City), 3B Abraham Nunez (free agent, signed with Philadelphia), RHP Cal Eldred (retired), RF Larry Walker (retired), RHP Matt Morris (free agent, signed with San Francisco), LHP Ray King (traded to Colorado), OF-INF John Mabry (free agent, signed with Chicago Cubs).
They need to get younger in the outfield. For sure, a regular right fielder and left fielder are required with the retirement of Larry Walker and the defection to free agency of LF Reggie Sanders. The bullpen, the deepest in the league, has had to be retooled because of free agency and injury defections, and there is no surefire regular at second base.
RHP Julian Tavarez, RHP Al Reyes, C Einar Diaz, OFs Reggie Sanders and Larry Walker (announced retirement).
RHP Jason Marquis is the only likely arbitration candidate. If the club fears he might get $5 million, it could trade him.
Marquis probably would bring the most value in the trade market. The Cardinals might not want to pay him $4-5 million as an arbitration-eligible player, and he might be the one player who could bring a regular outfielder in return.
LHP Randy Flores (left elbow surgery) will be out six eight to weeks but should be ready for spring training. 3B Scott Rolen is rehabilitating after a second shoulder surgery and should be ready for spring training. RHP Al Reyes, who probably will be re-signed as a free agent even though he isn't able to pitch, might be back by August after offseason Tommy John surgery.
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