Cheap Seats

Rumor Mill: Russ Springer

A deal between the Oakland Athletics and Russ Springer is apparently imminent.

Springer is expected today or tomorrow to sign on the dotted line to receive $3 million to pitch one season in the green and gold. I still say it's a shame the Cardinals had no interest in their best bullpenner from a year ago. The excuse is that the team wants to give the youngsters a chance. But, in the best case scenario -- if there are no injuries and no one wilts under the pressure -- it still seems like a good idea to have a steady veteran to help mentor the kids.

You can never have too much good leadership. And it really stings that he offered to take less money to stay here but was met with deaf ears. At the annual St. Louis Baseball Writers dinner, emerging Cardinals hurler Adam Wainwright named Springer as a huge positive influence in his career up to this point.

In 2008, Springer was 2-1 with a 2.32 ERA. In 50 1/3 innings, he gave up 39 hits, walked 18 and struck out 45.