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Rumor Mill: Allen Craig

Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal describes Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig as "highly sought after" by several American League teams.

But he said the Cardinals, who are using Craig as part of a platoon to replace ailing All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday, are reluctant to deal him.

I'm a bit surprised to hear that Craig is so well liked because it didn't seem like anyone was interested in him last year. While the Cardinals could certainly use a cheap bat in the outfield, especially if they hope to re-sign Albert Pujols at the end of the season, the Birds need to be careful not to once again make their frequent mistake of hanging onto a player past his peak tradability -- and then riding that value into the ground. (Like they did with Anthony Reyes and Bryan Anderson.)

If the Redbirds keep Pujols, they could let Lance Berkman walk and save $8 million bucks, using Craig in right field. I was shocked when the Birds signed Berkman over the off-season because I was sure that they were going to go with Craig and Jon Jay in right... But if they don't think they can keep Pujols, the club might be better off if it could swap Craig, who will be 27 in July, to a team that offers a major league quality shortstop or second baseman in return.

Regardless of what they do with Craig, it's good news that the Birds have not yet placed Holliday on the disabled list. The most likely reason the Cardinals wouldn't do that is that they think Holliday will be out less than 15 days and they don't want to make him ineligible to play for that long.

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