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Manny's headed for the bargain bin

There is an interesting column about Manny Ramirez on ESPN.com that examines Manny Ramirez's contract situation. And I believe it backs up my position that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak isn't doing his due diligence by at least giving Manny's people a call.

According to Buster Olney, the Dodgers and Giants are the only teams even TALKING to Ramirez. And neither of them have an offer on the table. In that environment, it's entirely possible that the former Red Sox superstar could be had on a one-year deal. And for a fraction of the $20-$25 million the Dodgers had on the table early in the off season.

According to Olney, some baseball executives now think that Ramirez could be had for $15 million a season -- or less. Which puts him in the category of players who make LESS than Albert Pujols, for those who are worried that Ramirez making more money than Albert would make the Cardinals star upset.

Mozeliak dismissed the Ramirez suggestion because he said the Cardinals already have a surplus of outfielders. If the Redbirds picked up Ramirez, it would not only make the offense better -- because Manny is a better hitter than any of the St. Louis flychasers. But it would allow the Cardinals to trade some of that outfield surplus to address the pitching situation.

Olney said if Pujols' suggestion that the Cardinals try to sign Ramirez did anything, it drove down the free agent sluggers' price by publicly announcing that Ramirez said "no one wants to sign me."

So, why not at least pick up the phone, Mo? Maybe Ramirez is too expensive. But there is only one way to find out.

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