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the felix files: mlbtraderumors.com says the cards have made an offer to felix rodriguez, likely one year at ~ $2m. makes sense to me; i hope he signs. he did have a terrible season last year, whiffed only 18 of 147 batters, but he spent two months on the shelf after injuring his knee in the shower . . . . was a good pitcher before that. play a hard 9 was just talking about felix and other rhr candidates . . . . .

nl central outfielder roulette: preston wilson may be headed to the astros, jeromy burnitz to the pirates. burnitz, you'll recall, was supposed to be bound for baltimore for 2 yrs / $12m, but that deal has apparently fallen apart. pittsburgh's offer is allegedly the same, which means there are two big-league organizations willing to flush good money down the toilet . . . .

it will be said that the free-agent signings of sanders, burnitz, and jacque jones redeem the cards' decision to sign encarnacion -- viz., that's just the market for an average outfielder these days. i would only point out that the wiser organizations are choosing not to play in that market, and the organizations that are in it -- kc, chicago, baltimore, pittsburgh -- aren't exactly known for their shrewdness. . . . .

our ZIP has come in: i'm prob'y the last cardinal blogger to mention stl's 2006 ZIPS projections, posted on new year's eve at baseball think factory. they are a mixed bag, generally sanguine on the hitters but not at all kind to the cardinal pitchers. there's plenty of analysis already out there, which you can read at the birdwatch ("cardinals have their work cut out for them," says rob), fungoes, and play a hard 9.

if you think computer projections are garbage, then try cardnilly instead. he's gone through the whole roster completely numbers-free and sussed out ev'y player by dead reckoning: pitchers here, position players here and here. among the newcomers, nilly likes deivi and bigbie, is rooting for ponson, hates juan'cion, and feels guilty that he doesn't like aaron miles more.

then there's this: readers at john sickles' Minor League Ball think st louis will play cleveland in the 2006 world series. pop the corks.

ground beef: the diaspora took a two-part look at the card pitchers' groundball tendencies (part 1 and part 2). baseball musings took note and added some context, while the 26th man checked out the market for groundbally pitchers. if you like this subject, you might also find this old post of mine interesting.

this new house: derrick goold has a couple of recent entries about teams playing in new stadiums -- one here, and t'other here. and danup has a few thoughts about new stadiums that try to look old.