The Cardinals are expected to focus on the pitching staff if they are unable to retain slugging outfielder Matt Holliday.
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But the pitchers the Birds had last season seem to be attracting the most attention elsewhere.
St. Louis righty Joel Pineiro, who had a career season in 2009 after coming to the Cardinals three years ago following his exile from the Red Sox bullpen to their Class AAA club, is on the radar of the Mets. Meanwhile, John Smoltz's people have allegedly been contacted by at least eight interested teams, according to his agent.
Pineiro is said to want at least a three-year contract averaging $10 million a season. But, so far at least, that is scaring away other clubs who look at his shaky track record and wonder in 2009 was a fluke.
I was very impressed with the way Pineiro pitched in 2009 when he finally trusted his sinker and threw it with great success. But it seems like the sinker is the easiest pitch for a hurler to lose his feel for. And without that pitch, it's easy to imagine the righthander reverting to his Joel Pinata days of old.
While he might not be on the Mets radar, the Mets are on Jason Marquis' scope. The New York Native is said to be throwing himself at the team of his youth.