If the Cardinals aren't going to be able to afford Miguel Tejada or Felipe Lopez, I wonder if they'll take a look at former SIU Saluki Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Hairston's a .259 career hitter and he doesn't have a whole lot of pop in his bat. But he has experience playing second, third, short and all three outfield positions, so he would give manager Tony La Russa a lot of flexibility. And, while I wouldn't bank on him being able to carry a club with his offense, he has put together a couple of .300 seasons in his career, most recently a .326 campaign for the Reds over 80 games in 2008.
La Russa's specialty is using players to the maximum of their potential.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, there are five teams who have expressed interest in Hairston. They include Oakland and the Yankees.
The former Yankee, Ranger, Red, Cub and Oriole is expected to get a $2-$3 million contract.