▪ ESPN’s Mark Saxon breaks down the St. Louis Cardinals’ frustation at this week’s winter meetings simply: They don’t have the wealth of prospects to land an impact playing in trade, and they don’t want to ink a free agent to a long term contract they’ll some day regret.
▪ Multiple sources have reported that former Texas Rangers athletic center fielder Ian Desmond was on the Cardinals radar, but the 31-year-old signed Wednesday with the Colorado Rockies for five years at $70 million.
▪ With Desmond in the Rockies’ fold, and slugger Mark Trumbo said to be on their wish list as well, would highly-coveted center fielder Charlie Blackmon be available to the Cardinals in a trade? Colorado GM Jeff Bridich won’t anything out, but it seems unlikely. Blackmon — a slick fielder who hit .324 with 29 home runs last year — is arbitration eligible this year, but won’t be a free agent until 2019.
▪ Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler is still presumed to be the Cardinals top off-season target. According to Saxon, St. Louis has offered him four years and $60 million. But what does the Desmond deal do for Fowler’s asking price? If Desmond (.285/.335/.446) is worth seven years and $70 million, what is Fowler (.276/.393/.447) worth? And will the Cardinals pay that price?
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▪ Another Cardinals’ outfield target was taken off the market when the Chicago White Sox dealt Adam Eaton, 28, to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
▪ So, besides Fowler, what names has the rumor mill connected to the Cardinals? The Royals Lorenzo Cain has been involved in trade speculation, though that seems to have died down since Cain’s Wikipedia page showed him as a St. Louis Cardinal for about an hour on Tuesday. Could it heat up again, though, now that the Royals have acquired Jorge Soler from the Cubs?
▪ The Cardinals also have been rumored to be interested in Justin Turner. Nothing has surfaced on that front since Saxton tweeted Nov. 30 that the team is not pursuing the Dodgers’ free agent third baseman.