On the Post-Dispatch's website today, Derrick Goold takes a look at the St. Louis Cardinals' Plan B now that Pujols has chosen to sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Goold spoke with general manager John Mozeliak for the article, which touches on the club's "immediate needs but also unexpected long-term elasticity." It is an article full of juicy little tidbits and well worth a read.
In the article Mozeliak expresses a preference for using free agency to address the Cardinals' needs. Specifically, according to Goold, the Cardinals have "explored the market" for free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran as an option in center field, "engaged in conversations" with free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, and has interest in bringing back Nick "The Shredder" Punto as a veteran bench player and potential Tyler Greene insurance policy at shortstop (presumably if it fails to sign Furcal). Also on Mozeliak's radar are lefty-handed relievers Mike Gonzalez and J.C. Romero.
The $110 million payroll projection from Bill DeWitt, Jr. remains in place even without Pujols. It will be interesting to see how much of it is filled by signing free agents not yet on the roster. Since we are quickly approaching 1,500 comments in the morning thread, I thought we could continue our Post-Pujols Plan B discussions here.