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Cardinals rumors: Jhonny Peralta close to solving St. Louis's shortstop problems (expensively)

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The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to the free agent shortstop that isn't related to J.D. Drew, at least so far as we know.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Well, that about does it for the St. Louis Cardinals' abrupt 2014 renovations: A few days after they traded David Freese for a new center fielder, Peter Bourjos, they're reportedly near a contract with Jhonny Peralta, one of the stronger free agents in a weaker shortstop market. If you're confident in the available defensive metrics, that's a decisive way of solving the Pete Kozma problem--but if you're confident in the rumors about Peralta's bids so far, it's also a patch that could be pricey all the way into 2017.

Rumors this past week have put Peralta's price--not just his asking price, but the price he's mulling over--in the four years, $13 million range, which is a stout price to play for a guy whose defensive reputation only escaped "secretly a third baseman" as he got older. There's also the matter of his run-ins with baseball's PED program, which might leave you a little skeptical of his aging curve.

But in the short term--and only in baseball does the short term involve the next 300-or-so three-hour stretches of your life--he's a major improvement on a team that looks sharper today than it did a week ago.