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Rumor Mill: Cardinals interested in (sigh) Andy LaRoche

The Cardinals have talked with the Pirates about third baseman Andy LaRoche as a replacemnt for injured Redbird David Freese, according to a report out from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

With Freese out for the year and Felipe Lopez struggling defensively at the hot corner, the Redbirds would like to make a move. But I have to imagine that it would be tough to get LaRoche through waivers.

LaRoche, 26, makes only $451,000 this season for the Bucs, so it would be financially pretty easy for any team that wanted to keep him out of Cardinals togs to make a waiver claim to block a potential deal.

LaRoche certainly doesn't figure to help the Redbirds much at the plate. He's a .228 lifetime hitter who only has managed 21 homers and 46 doubles in 336 major league games spread out over four years. That's not a lot of production for a corner infielder. He hit a combined .166 in 2008 over 76 games split between the Dodgers and Pirates. Last season was LaRoche's best year. He hit .258 with 12 homers in 150 games. It was his only season so far that he has played more than half his team's games, although he has played 75 this season, compiling a .223 batting average with three homers and 14 RBIs.