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Cardinals reportedly out of Haren hunt

The Cardinals are out of the Dan Haren derby, according to AOL Fanhouse.

The website reports that the Yankees, who recently lost starter Andy Pettitte to injury, are the favorites to land the former St. Louis hurler lost in trade for Mark Mulder.

Apparently the Redbirds just can't match up with the package New York has on the table. Or maybe the Cardinals think they have a better chance to land Roy Oswalt... But it looked like Cliff Lee was a shoe in for the Bronx Bombers and another team swooped in and stole him away at the last minute.

If the Reds were a finalist for Lee, I wonder if they will jump in on Haren. Former Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty seems to have a thing these days for going after players he signed when he was in St. Louis. The obvious difference is that Lee is a free agent at the end of the year while Haren is owed about $32 million over the next two years. But Cincinnati has some payroll to shed in 2010. It has an $11 million option on Bronson Arroyo, so if Cincy lets him go, Haren's contract would almost be a wash.

Which brings me back to the Cardinals... If the Reds are hunting for a top flight pitcher, it makes it pretty tough for the Birds to pass on their chance to get one who really wants to be in St. Louis.