Enough Talking About the Past

-Since McGwire admitted his steroid use several days ago, I am going to take a page out of his book and “not talk about the past.” I personally am very tired of hearing about performance enhancing drugs, and the sooner the media finds another topic to focus on the better.

-There isn’t a lot of other Cardinal related news at the moment besides Big Mac’s admission, but there are a few tidbits about players of interest to the Redbirds.

-Ryan Church, possible candidate for the 4th outfielder role, is close to a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Church would have been a nice fit for the Cardinals, but seeing him sign with the Pirates is not a big deal. Church is just the type of player that John Mozeliak could have considered for the bench, not the only one. There are still many other players out there that can provide similar production that Church could have provided.

-The signing of Church likely means the Pirates will be staying away from Rick Ankiel. Scott Boras, Ankiel’s agent, has scared off a lot of teams because he is looking for a multi-year deal, which teams are obviously scared of giving him. Ankiel struggled horribly in 2009, and until Boras comes down on his demands, Ankiel will continue to remain a free agent while others sign. Ankiel’s best bet at his point would be to accept an incentive laden one year year deal in a place that would offer sufficient playing time, which shouldn’t be St. Louis.

-The Cubs are kicking the tires on Ben Sheets. Sheets was one of many pitchers that the Cardinals would likely have had interest in if they didn’t sign Matt Holliday, but is likely too expensive for the Cards at this point.

-The Mets and Dodgers like Joel Pineiro. Back in October, I said that the Cardinals should stay away from the multi-year deal that Pineiro would likely command. Pineiro’s market was likely set by Jason Marquis’s 2 year 15 million dollar deal, which would be a fair price to pay for Pineiro if the Cardinals had a bigger budget.

-In a XM radio interview with Bill Dewitt III over the weekend, Dewitt stated that there is a “slight urgency” to begin discussing a contract extension with Albert Pujols. Dewitt said that the Cardinals don’t want to go into the final year of Pujols’s contract, which runs out after the 2011 season, without an extension. He also said that ideally a deal would be done within the next 3-6 months. I agree with Dewitt in that the Cardinals shouldn’t go into the final season of Pujols’s contract before getting an extension done. I firmly believe that both the Cardinals and Pujols will get something worked out in the end. Both sides have stated that they would like to continue their relationship, and I believe the Cardinals have the finances to get this done.

-That seems to wrap things up in Cardinal nation for now, and it seems that the best hope for Cardinal fans this week is that the media finds a new whipping boy to talk about.