The St. Louis Cardinals won't be competing for any big stars this offseason, and after last year's adventures in free agency it's almost a relief to turn the fan-indignation cannons from existential worries about a post-Albert-Pujols universe to agitating for a particular utility infielder. (He hits for infielder-power, the Seibu Dome is really neat, and he's got an incredibly extravagant yet somehow simultaneously nonchalant bat-flip. The agitators rest!)
Grading has me swamped tonight, though, and I've said literally everything I know to say about Hiroyuki Nakajima, so this is the right Saturday for a little viewer participation. I'm interested in knowing what you think the Cardinals will do next, when they do do something—that is, when some money finally does come free, what will you be spending it on on Bill DeWitt's behalf?
Expiring after 2013: Carlos Beltran ($13 million); Chris Carpenter ($12.5 million); Adam Wainwright ($12 million); Jake Westbrook ($9.75 million); Rafael Furcal ($7 million); and, of course, Skip Schumaker ($1.5 million.) Who will the Cardinals be retaining long-term? What will they need to fill from outside the farm system?
You've got a fair amount of money to spend, but keep in mind that you are in a terrifying universe in which Jake Westbrook's expiring contract is worth $10 million.