Talk is that if the Cardinals can't get Matt Holliday to come back that they might instead focus on pitching ... and Likely trades for pitching since the free agent market isn't especially deep.
So, dare we dream that the rumors of Toronto ace Roy Halladay switching birds from blue to red crop back up? Judging from what I heard from Cardinals fans last year -- that St. Louis blew it by going after Holliday instead of Halladay -- he would be a suitable replacement on the roster and payroll. The fans who lined the parade route at the All-Star game last summer in St. Louis seemed to agree with their chants of "We want Roy!"
Roy Halladay was 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA last season with Toronto. He is the 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner and is 148-76 over his 15-year career.
The possibility raises a couple of questions. First, do the Cardinals have enough juice in the minor leagues to land Halladay and, second, are they willing to take a chance on bringing in another player in the last year of his contract when they got burned by Holliday?
If they were really serious, the Cardinals could put a competitive package together. But it would completely gut the farm system. Allen Craig has American League written all over him just like Brett Wallace did before him. Then there is rising outfield prospects Jon Jay and Darryl Jones and a handful of pretty good pitchers.
Toronto has at least kicked around the idea of letting a trade partner have a window to work out an extension with Halladay. But the Toronto starter is 32 years old and the Cardinals seem to have a phobia of being tied to pitchers who are more than 36 years of age. The bright side is Halladay's agent is Greg Landry, not Scott Boras.
Even if the Cardinals were able to sport a starting rotation that included Carpenter, Holliday and Wainwright at the top of the rotation -- all three of whom could be Cy Young Award winners within a matter of a couple of hours -- they are still going to have to do something about the starting line-up. And a trade for Halladay would seem to ruin the chances of putting together enough good pieces to land another big slugger to protect Albert Pujols.
Adam Dunn has been the rumor of late, although I shudder to think about his defense in the outfield. Then there is Josh Willingham of the Nationals... Neither of those guys have the cachet of Holliday.