Cheap Seats

Lopez, Lowell and Kennedy

The Cardinals say they don't know if they have enough money left to sign Felipe Lopez now that they have Matt Holliday in the house for at least the next seven years.

That's sort of surprising, since by my accounting which happens to match that of ESPN, the Birds' payroll is at about $92-$93 million including the expected raises for arbitration eligible players. How much does Lopez want?

He got $3.5 million last season from the Diamondbacks, a contract that was eventually traded to Milwaukee. He ended up in the desert after demanding a longterm deal, reportedly three years and $15 million, to remain with the Cardinals after the end of the 2008 season. Has Lopez decided to repeat the past and ask for a big money deal again?

If that's the case, maybe the Cardinals should call Boston about Mike Lowell. A deal to Texas that called for the Red Sox to pick up $9 million of his 2010 salary was aborted when Lowell failed a physical due to a torn thumb ligament. But that problem was surgically repaired and Lowell is expected to be ready to go at the start of spring training.

Lowell is an excellent defender and has a clutch RBI bat. I wonder if Boston would offer the same deal to the Cardinals that it offered the Rangers...

While the Cardinals are looking for infield depth, they also would like to add a lefty bat or two for the bench. Adam Kennedy fills both of those needs and he is a free agent. But his ugly divorce from the Birds about this time last year kills any chance of a reunion. He is reported to be be talking to the Marlins these days...

The Cardinals can make do in the field with what they have in-house as far as defense goes. But the bench bats are pretty weak at this point.