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More grasping at straws

If you were the Cardinals GM, would you have any interest in Arizona outfielder Eric Byrnes, who the Diamondbacks appear to be ready to just give away?

Byrnes has struggled with injuries over the last couple of years since signing a high dollar deal with the D-Backs. But the guy -- at least at one time -- had all the tools. He stole 50 bases in 57 tries just two seasons ago, which would give the Cardinals a much needed element of speed on their roster. But he has also hit 20 or more home runs three times in his 10-year career.

blog post photo

Eric Byrnes makes a leaping catch for the Diamondbacks. He's lost his starting job in Arizona and is rumored to be released soon if Arizona can't trade him.

The downside is that he is a career .260 hitter whose best full season batting average is .286. He only hit better than .280 in a season twice...

But he caught my eye a couple years ago with his speed and power potential and I have always thought he could be a great player with some polish. Is he the sort of guy Mark McGwire could turn into a Jim Edmonds type producer with the bat... 30 homers, .290 average?

The only way the Cardinals could get ahold of Byrnes is if the D-Backs can't find a trade partner and go ahead and release him. He's under contract for one more season at $11 million and it seems that there is no one who is going to take on that obligation. But, if he could be had for the MLB minimum, he might make a heckuva bargain bin find.

Byrnes wants to play everyday. And, while he is unlikely to be handed a starting job unless Matt Holliday or a suitable replacement can't be found, he could probably get a lot of playing time in all three outfield spots under manager Tony La Russa.

It could be a good fit for both sides as Byrnes tries to restore his reputation in the walk year of a disastrous three year contract.