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Is Beltran too pricey? Cardinals talking to Crisp

A report earlier today by Fox Sports indicates that the expected price of free agent Carlos Beltran is expected to be $12-$12.5 million a year for two or three seasons.

While it would seem the Cardinals might be able to afford that amount with the savings they experienced by not re-signing Albert Pujols, they may be balking at the length of the deal because Yahoo reports that negotiations between St. Louis and representation for former Cardinals farmhand Covelli "Coco" Crisp.

As I mentioned last week, the Redbirds apparently were more interested in Rafael Furcal's glove than his leadoff bat. If they sign Crisp, who the team traded to Cleveland in 2002 as part of a package used to land southpaw starter Chuck Finley, Crisp is expected to be the starting centerfielder and leadoff man. Furcal would likely bat down at the bottom of the order.

Crisp hit .264 last season for Oakland and stole 49 bases. It seems that the Redbirds are on a mission to add some team speed this off-season. Once known for base stealing, that element of the game has been sorely lacking for most of the Tony La Russa era.

The speedy flychaser, who turned 32 in November, made $5.75 million last season with the Athletics.