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Rumor Mill: Cardinals shopping for a second baseman

The Cardinals are rumored to be looking for a second baseman via trade now that it appears Skip Schumaker isn't going to be able to become a servicable second baseman in time for the upcoming 2009 season.

Schumaker misplayed a grounder in the Cardinals 8-4 win over Florida on Wednesday, raising his total to four errors in 10 games. His fielding percentage has dropped to a lowly .826 and it doesn't really even tell the story. Schumaker has looked uncomfortable on grounders even when he has made the play and has had trouble both making throws on the run and turning double plays.

It's totally not his fault. Schumker was forced into a bad situation when the Cardinals allowed all three of their second basemen from last season to get away over the off-season. GM John Mozeliak stubbornly refused to part with $4 or $5 million to get Orlando Hudson, or Orlando Cabrera off the market or even the $2 or $3 million it would have taken to keep Felipe Lopez or Aaron Miles had he been proactive in addressing the situation. So Schumaker had to try to learn to play a new position at the major league level over the course of about six weeks.

The Cardinals are said to be interested in Florida second baseman Dan Uggla and have talked to the Braves previously this off-season about Kelly Johnson. A trade for either of them is  probably going to cost the Cardinals a package that includes Rick Ankiel or Ryan Ludwick.

Mark Grudzielanek, a former Cardinals second baseman, is on the market.

If the Cardinals were serious about making Schumaker a second baseman, why did they wait until a couple of weeks before spring training started to make the move. Why didn't they send him to winter ball to give him a chance to get his feet underneath him.

On the bright side, the switch hasn't hurt Schmaker's bat. He's hitting well over .300. The problem is trying to fit him into an already crowded outfield picture.