Cardinals GM John Mozeliak made an interesting statement Saturday when he said the team is more likely to acquire infield depth through trade than it is to sign a free agent...
Why would the Cardinals further deplete their depth when they have at least $6-$7 million to spend while remaining beneath their un-necessarily low $100 million budget?
The rumor going into the weekend was that the Cardinals were one of four teams interested in Felipe Lopez. Since then, one of those four teams -- San Diego -- has reportedly dropped out of the running. He made $3.5 million last year and is jobless with position players reporting to spring training over the next couple of days. He's got bargain written all over him...
The only reason I could see for the Redbirds not wanting to go for Lopez is that they have their hearts set on a more established player at third base.
Could the Cardinals be interested in Marlins infielder Dan Uggla? Uggla has supposedly been available for trade all winter. He currently plays a poor second base. But maybe Mo sees him as more of a third baseman because of his range -- or lack thereof.
Uggla is a .260ish hitter who is usually good for someplace in the low 20s as far as homers go. He's not going to make anyone forget about Scott Rolen. But Troy Glaus managed to do a decent job defensively in 2008 while providing some bang to the offense, and he fit the same profile.
The other guy who springs to mind as a trade target is Jhonny Peralta of the Indians.
Peralta started his career as a shortstop, but over the last couple of seasons he has migrated over to third. He's a career .266 hitter who has topped the 20 homer mark three times in the last five years. The bad news is that he strikes out a ton with at least 126 whiffs is every full season he has played in the majors.
Maybe Mozeliak has something else in the works. But I really don't see either of these guys as a sure fire improvement over rookie David Freese at third. And they're both established major league starters, so they're not going to come and fill out the Cardinals' bench...
I still think Lopez makes the most sense.