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Rosenthal: Oscar Taveras, Matt Adams and Allen Craig highly sought after

Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosnthal says that the Cardinals had multiple offers over the offseason for Oscar Taveras, Matt Adams and Allen Craig.

But he said the team thinks it can fit all three players into the mix because of Craig's versatility, especially next season when Carlos Beltran will likely leave as a free agent.

Of course GM John Mozeliak is going to say those players are keepers no matter what he really thinks as part of the cat and mouse game baseball executives play to enhance the value of their players and to drive down the value of their targets. But I'd like to think Taveras and Craig, with his new contract, are untouchable. Bit I think at some point, if the club remains I contention, it is going to have to find a veteran starter and maybe a closer for a postseason push.

An exciting target could be Tampa's David Price. The Rays are gin g to have to deal Price, who is under contract through 2014, at some point. He has said he doesn't think he's likely to sign an extension to stay there. Adams might be the centerpiece of a package to land price who would return the Redbirds to their blueprint of having co-aces.

St. Louis would have a much greater chance to sign Price to an extension, if it so desires, because of all the money saves when Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal and Carlos Beltran fall off the payroll. Tampa gets a cost controlled slugger that will refresh a lineup depleted by a small budget.

Of course, if the Cardinals can't stay in the race they'll want to hang on to their young talent. But with two wildcards, it's tough to imagine being completely out of the race without a major collapse.