Cheap Seats

Time for the Cardinals to tie up the rest of the loose ends

Now that the Cardinals have added the middle of the order bat they needed, it's time for the team to attend to some other business.

Namely, the club needs to see if it can deal some of its pitching depth to try to improve the situation at second base. It would be preferable for the Cardinals to find a second baseman who can be a top of the order hitter. Although that may be a bit too much to ask.

I really like Daniel Descalso as a utility man. But I wonder if he'll hit enough to be a starter at second base. And, if he can't do the job, that leaves Skip Schumaker who is a sub-par defensive option.

At the beginning of the off-season it was speculated that Kyle McClellan would be the odd man out because he's working his way up the salary scale while he doesn't have a spot on the Cardinals pitching staff to justify the pay hike. If he was a starter, three or four million bucks doesn't sound like a lot. But that's a pile of cash for a middle reliever.

The problem with dealing McClellan might be the fact that he basically had his arm fall off from fatigue in the middle of the 2011 season. Once a valuable bullpenner, after he was ejected from the rotation in favor of Edwin Jackson, McClellan couldn't even crack the post season roster as a bullpenner because of a dead arm.

I still wish the Cardinals could give away Jake Westbrook. Even if they got NOTHING in return in terms of players, I would give Westbrook to the first team that is willing to take on his whole 2012 paycheck of about $8 million. That sounds like a lot. But a team that needs a pitcher should be willing to jump for a guy who is only under contract for one season at such a "reasonable" rate. Jackson is a free agent and currently is holding out for a five-year contract of $60 million or more.

If the Birds dealt Westbrook, they would have about $10 million to spend on other needs while staying below the Cardinals' unreasonable $110 million self imposed salary cap. (I still think they could easily afford to spend $115-$120 million).

GM John Mozeliak apparently has other plans however. He just said on the radio that he's looking for bullpen help and possibly a backup catcher and a utility infielder