After several weeks of inactivity, the past couple of days have brought some clarity into what’s going to happen with the Cardinals this off-season. Mark Derosa signed with the Giants, Jason Bay went to the Mets, and with the Yankees and Red Sox likely out of the running for Matt Holliday, it appears that the Cardinals are the most serious bidder for the prized left fielder. Everything that has happened this off-season has worked in the Cardinals favor in their attempt to re-sign Holliday. The Angels and Giants declared him too expensive, Boston took the offer they had for Holliday and gave it to John Lackey to go along with signing Mike Cameron, the Mets signed Jason Bay, and the Yankees don’t have any interest in Scott Boras’s top client. Sure a team like the Orioles could stay in the bidding, but even they don’t like the price of Holliday and there’s been no indication that Holliday would even want to play there. Just because it looks like the Cardinals are the most serious bidder for Holliday doesn’t mean this will be a quick resolution, however, as Scott Boras continues to play the waiting game. Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that Boras was “doubling back” to teams to try to garner more interest in his client, but if teams passed on Holliday the first time around, it’s unlikely that they would enter the sweepstakes now. Mozeliak appears to be eying a mid-January conclusion of the Holliday saga, stating “ideally you know what team you have by the middle of January” in a p-d article. In that same article, Goold states again how the Cardinals have interest in another one of Scott Boras’s clients, Felipe Lopez. I think Lopez would be a solid addition, as he would add some depth and versatility to the roster (for a more detailed take on Lopez, click here). Lopez might not be much of an upgrade over David Freese at third, but I don’t think it hurts to have depth on the roster, as long as it’s at a reasonable price. Lopez is a switch hitter that LaRussa could bat in the two-hole in front of Pujols, which would mean Colby Rasmus could bat lower in the lineup, perhaps utilizing his base-stealing ability more. Overall it is shaping up to be a fine off-season for the Cardinals, and it appears as if John Mozeliak’s plan is working to perfection. Scott Boras is playing the waiting game now, but with each passing day both Holliday and the Cardinals will want a resolution to this process. For now Cardinal fans can only hope no other “mystery teams” emerge and Mozeliak doesn’t grow impatient and bid against himself for Holliday.
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