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Left Field Options

By LS Murphy

Let’s face it. Matt Holliday will go to the biggest bidder. It’s a fact. The chances of that team being the St. Louis Cardinals are slim. Not impossible, but slim. That leaves several options for the left field spot.

Jason Bay

Bay is also considered a top tier free agent. The Red Sox are unlikely to let Bay walk away. And they have the money to sign him to a long term deal. The chances of the Cardinals getting him are just about as slim as resigning Holliday.

Allen Craig

The AAA player made a big splash at Memphis this year. He hit .322 with 26 homeruns and 83 RBIs. He was also name the Redbirds Player of the Year. So why didn’t he get the call up in September? LaRussa said he wouldn’t be ale to get enough at-bats. But any at-bat at the Major League level would be better than none. Best guess is that the coaches don’t think he is ready. It’s up to Craig to prove that he is during spring training.

Joe Mather

Mather started out last spring training hot and heavy for a place on the roster at third base. Injuries, however, brought him down. He ended the season playing right field with a .207 average. Not the power hitter we need behind Albert but an option for left field.


Nick Stavinoha

Stavinoha played a bit with the Cards this year. He’s not a bad player. Under McGwire’s tutelage, he may even turn into a better hitter. His season ended with an injury. If he bounces back and is healthy during spring training, he could see his stock rise and his .282 average as well.


Mike Cameron

The free agent is a career centerfielder and ended his season with the Brewers hitting .250 with 24 homeruns and 70 RBIs. Could he make the transition to left field? He would definitely bring experience to the team but not the big bat the Cards need behind Albert.

Rick Ankiel

Let’s face it. Ankiel played hurt after his collision with the centerfield wall in May of this past season. Regardless of what information the team released to the media about his condition, it was plain to fans that he wasn’t playing healthy. Another one of Scott Boras’ clients, Ankiel will test the market this off season. His poor season will make him relatively cheap. He hit .231 with only 11 homers and 38 RBI in 372 at bats in 2009 compared to 413 at bats where he hit .264 with 71 RBI and 25 homers in 2008. The Cardinals stood by Rick when he made the transition into the outfield. They stood by him this past season when he struggled. His loyalties should be with this team, if they make an effort to resign him. Ankiel may be a good option in left field. At least if he’s healthy. That’s the biggest question.

Mark DeRosa

Most fans would love to see DeRosa back in a Cardinals uniform. He’s a leader. He’s a team player. He’s the type of player that this team covets. And he’s a natural second baseman. Resigning DeRosa would solidify the outfield by moving Skip Schumaker into left. Skip’s play at second improved dramatically. He did an admirable job. And moving him back into the outfield would do nothing to hinder his performance or what he did for the team in 2009. This may be the best option the Cardinals have.

The free agent market is thin this off season but there are options for the Cardinals. If matt Holliday wants to play on a winning team, and in a ballpark where he hits like every game is batting practice, then he’ll sign in St. Louis at a reasonable rate. But if he gets greedy, he can leave. And his St. Louis legacy will be sealed. Sign Holliday or don’t sign him. Either way, this team will be fine.


Follow LS Murpy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LSMurphy

2 comments:

  1. Would the classy Cardinals allow Cameron on there team after he does such an awful thing like untuck his jersey?

    ReplyDelete
  2. He wouldn't even think about it. LaRussa wouldn't allow such a classless action to happen on his ball club.

    ReplyDelete


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