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Rumor Mill: Juan Cruz

Just in case the Cardinals off season was starting to in some way make sense (which it's not) the team threw fans for another loop on Tuesday when the front office's collective ears perked up as the commissioner mentioned he might sanction a way for teams to get around giving up a first round draft pick in exchange for signing a Type A free agent.

Supposedly, the Cardinals might have some interest in former Arizona reliever Juan Cruz if they didn't have to surrender that pick.

If it's the pick the Birds were worried about, why didn't they just re-sign their own accomplished right-handed reliever Russ Springer? Well, because manager Tony La Russa thinks Cruz might make a nice closer.

I thought it was decided that the kids -- Chris Perez and Jason Motte -- were going to fight it out for the closer role. So now the plan is to forget about them if we can get an enigmatic failed starter who has no experience as a closer who is currently shopping for his fifth major league team in eight years to take the job?

Did I mention he's an ex Cub?

I guess it's silly to get in a tizzy about all of this. The one thing I have figured out about the Cardinals 2008-09 off season is that they aren't spending any money on anything, no matter who is available.