I think that there are 7 or 8 players out there that the Cardinals should give a realistic look at over the next year. I do not like all 8 of these players, nor do I think that the Cards will necessarily sign any of these players. I just think that these are guys who will be available at some point over the next year as free agents or via trade.
1. Livan Hernandez
Livan is a free agent this year and I think that this team just needs a #2-3 guy in the rotation that can eat up innings. Adam Wainwright may very well be a #1-2 starter for many years to come; I think next year it would be nice to see Livan pitch 220 innings of ~4.00 ERA ball to make sure our bullpen doesn't have to throw 600+ innings or something next year.
2. AJ Burnett
See my post a week or so ago for why this would be intriguing. Also, notice in the post that I do not necessarily WANT this one. This would have to be via trade.
3. Adam Dunn
If the Reds do not pick up his option, I want to see him in the lineup batting either directly in front of or directly behind Albert. That could give us 3 guys in the lineup (with Duncan) that are possible 100-run/100-rbi guys.
4. Torii Hunter
Torii is a free agent this off-season. He is a guy who could get 80-90 runs, 30+ HR, 100+ RBI, 15-30 SB (if our manager next year will allow) and play + defense. I like any guy like that.
5. Aaron Rowand
He is a guy who is coming into his own right now. He plays + defense, could be a 100-run/100-rbi guy on a regular basis (although it might be more realistically a 85-run/85-rbi guy regularly).
6. Barry Bonds
He is a free agent. He is a guy that I might stop watching Cardinals' baseball if they get, plus he would add to an outfield that is injured a lot anyway; however, his OBP hasn't dropped below .400 in 8 seasons and his SLG has been above .500 since 1989 - before I turned 10 years old.
7. Alex Rodriguez
He is a free agent - if he opts out of his option. He is a guy who we will not get, unless he takes a HUGE pay cut because he likes it here or something. I don't really need to say much about him except a possible lineup with him and Albert excites me beyond belief.
8. Edgar Renteria
Edgar would have to come back via a trade. Escobar has been playing a lot more near the end of the year and Renteria hasn't quite been the same since he left here. The Cardinals need a shortstop and Edgar might be the best, truly available option. I am afraid of trading with ATL a little, though.