Cheap Seats

Mujica, Freese could be playing themselves out of St. Louis

There's an interesting story on MLB Trade Rumors today about the fact that Edward Mujica's excellent performance as a stand in closer might ultimately be his ticket out of town.

Mujica is a free agent at the end of the year. If he keeps racking saves up left and right, he probably catch the eye of a team or two that can use a permanent closer. The Cardinals are likely to pass on matching such an offer since they're already paying Jason Motte to be their closer through the end of the 2014 season.

Motte, who recently had elbow ligament replacement surgery is likely to be back in business by the middle of next season.

Another guy who seems to be playing himself out of St. Louis in another way is third baseman David Freese.

The hero of the 2011 World Series is hitting a miserable .209 with no homers and for RBIs.

Either Freese is hurt and is trying to play through it. Or else his ongoing problems with injuries have left him diminished and unable to play at the level to which he was previously accustomed.

Either way, Freese is climbing up the salary scale. And at some point the Cardinals are going to decide his production and health-related baggage outweigh his paycheck.

Next season Kolton Wong figures to be in the second base picture for the Cardinals. The Cardinals could move Matt Carpenter back to his natural position, third, to make room. He doesn't profile as a third baseman in that he doesn't have a power bat. But the Redbirds could replace that lost power by adding a player with more homer hitting ability to a position that doesn't typically serve as home to a power hitter. Enter top prospect Oscar Taveras in centerfield.