The Cardinals have long wanted to add Kelly Johnson to their club. And now might be their best chance to make it happen.
The Arizona second baseman/outfielder is rumored to be on the trading block as the Diamondbacks are prepared to run up the white flag on the 2010 season and starting looking toward next year. The Cardinals were interested in Johnson when he was a member of the Braves but balked at Atlanta's request of Ryan Ludwick in return.
Johnson had a crummy 2009 in the ATL, but he's rebounded this year to the tune of a .277 batting average with 13 homers. He'd look mighty nice in the lower middle part of the St. Louis batting order, providing some much needed pop from a position where you usually don't see that sort of power. But, with Felipe Lopez taking time from Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan at second base, it's tough to imagine where the Cardinals would fit Johnson. After all, this is the team that thought there wasn't room on the roster for Julio Lugo.
If you ask me, I think the Skip Schumaker experiment at second base should be ended and Lopez should go back to his original role of being the super utility guy who can play anywhere on the infield and on the outfield corners. I think Skippy is a swell outfielder, but he's just brutal in the infield. He's in the bottom quarter of major league second basemen defensively and he just isn't hitting well enough this season to justify being an everyday player. He is best at his original job: being the fourth outfielder.
While I don't know where they would fit Johnson on the roster or who the Cardinals could trade to land him, the price is right. Johnson is making $2.35 million this season, more than a third of which has already been paid by Arizona.
With Jeff Suppan on the club, we have enough flashbacks. Johnson would fit nicely into Aaron Miles' slot on the roster.