Unless you’re a Cardinals fan that lives under a rock, you’ve heard the recent rumors relating to Roy Oswalt and Kyle McClellan. To catch you up, the Cardinals and Oswalt were reportedly very close to an agreement this past weekend, with a couple reporters calling the signing “imminent.” Of course, since the St. Louis scene wasn’t all over the rumor, I questioned it’s accuracy. And now, just over the last days or so, the St. Louis Cardinals are actively shopping Kyle McClellan, purportedly to get a roster spot and an extra $2.5 million of salary room so that they can increase their offer to Oswalt.
This month’s United Cardinal Bloggers project is to break down what we thought the top-5 Cardinals Stories of 2011 were. Albert Pujols‘ departure and the Cardinals winning the World Series will be two very big stories that my fellow bloggers will likely be hitting on today. But those are easy. That’s the low hanging fruit. What really contributed to the Cardinals being there in October and getting their chance to come through and why? That’s what I’m going for.
Is it Christmas come early for Cardinals fans? John Mozeliak delivered a two-year, $26 million contract for outfielder Carlos Beltran on Thursday night. The deal was announced by the team as pending a physical. The deal also includes a full no trade clause, likely a concessions for a two year deal instead of a three year contract like Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham both received.
Beltran has been in high demand since the Winter Meetings in Dallas. He reportedly received offers from the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Indians, Red Sox, and the Rockies kicked the tires before signing Cuddyer. According to a few baseball writers, the Cardinals kicked their negotiations into high gear on Wednesday.
As the press conference in Anaheim presenting Albert Pujols was under way, the news was reported from Rafael Furcal‘s agent that he has agreed to a $14 million, 2 year contract to return to the Cardinals. The contract will be finalized after a physical next week.
Furcal, 34, proved to be a vital glove man at short stop down the stretch for the Cardinals, however, his hitting left much to be desired. Spending his time in the leadoff spot, Furcal had a line of .255/.316/.418 in his 50 games in Cardinals red. He followed that up with a line of .195/.244/.325. However, without him the Cardinals probably don’t make the run they do. He was credited with the advent of the “Happy Flight” mantra that had the team winning getaway game after getaway game late in the season.
The second edition of the offseason notebook comes to you with three stories. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving break. I know mine was quite swamped trying to accomplish things, seeing family, and a couple of my good friends getting married.
Cardinals offer arbitration to Pujols and Jackson
The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that they had offered arbitration to Albert Pujols and Edwin Jackson while declining to offer the same to Rafael Furcal and Arthur Rhodes.