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Cardinals news and notes: Payroll flexibility, position battles, and Hall of Fame cases

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Some of us dealt with a slow December 29 in MLB news by considering the future. Others reminisced.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Lacking anything resembling a creative or interesting intro for today's news and notes post, I decided to consult my old, trusted friend Wikipedia and see if there are any notable December 30 birthdays in baseball. Turns out, a recent Cardinal was born on December 30. The star of this video:

No, no, not Kolten Wong. Don't wish him a happy birthday (well, I mean, you can, but that would be pretty weird. I guess if you're going to go that route, be pleasant in wishing him a happy birthday at least). The fella that Wong feels compelled to passively-aggressively greet immediately after greeting his manager: A.J. Pierzynski. To me, Pierzynski's Cardinals legacy is being an extension of Ozzie Guillen's legendary quote about him:

"If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less."

I miss that obnoxious agitator. Against all odds, I learned to tolerate him. Anyway, here's what happened yesterday on Viva El Birdos.

Looking ahead to 2016

  • Craig Edwards looked at the 2016 payroll for the Cardinals, examining the signings the club has made so far in the offseason and considering the relatively small increase in payroll compared to expectations heading into the Hot Stove season. Craig wonders whether the team is maintaining its flexibility for potential extensions once the team's new cable TV contract kicks in. And for people such as myself who didn't get enough sleep Monday night, there's a chart!
  • It's been a while since the Cardinals had such potentially heated competition for starting lineup spots, and Ben Markham broke down the potential competition for the opening day gigs at first base, center field, and by extension, right field. The possibilities are endless! Brandon Moss at first base? Tommy Pham in center field? Cats and dogs living together? Madness!

Looking back a decade

  • In perhaps the most concise and totally objective analysis of Jim Edmonds's Hall of Fame candidacy yet, Lil Scooter has some takes. She will literally fight you over this. She has literally fought me over this, and I wasn't even arguing against her; I just wasn't agreeing loudly enough. Basically what I'm saying is I'm afraid of Lil Scooter and if I had a Hall of Fame ballot, I'd vote for Edmonds for self-preservation's sake.
  • But you know who else I'd vote for? Larry Walker. And I used rumors of a potential trade involving the Cardinals and the Colorado Rockies to wax poetic about Larry Walker and my fondness for the man. This was shameless and I apologize for absolutely none of it.
Enjoy your Wednesdays, folks!