Cardinals exploring options at Winter Meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Cardinals have yet to make any public noise at baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.
General manager John Mozeliak met with the agents for several free agent players Tuesday as he continues to sift through a number of different scenarios regarding his club. The Cardinals are looking to add a left-handed reliever as well as add depth to their middle infield.
“As far as getting any closer to anything, it’s really hard to tell,” Mozeliak said Tuesday evening. “A lot of things in the air. Hopefully we’ll bring something to conclusion in the near future, but it’s too hard to say.”
Asked about the nature of his talks with agents Tuesday, Mozeliak said, “Some were introductions and some were checking the pulse, trying to get a sense of where things were going.”
Multiple reports surfaced late Monday night and Tuesday morning that the Cardinals were interested in free agent infielder Marco Scutaro, who hit .500 against St. Louis in the NLCS and helped the Giants win eventually win the World Series.
A report from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com said the Cardinals met with Scutaro’s agent Monday night while FOXSports.com reported Tuesday that the Cardinals were interested in signing him to be their starting second baseman.
Signing the veteran would make sense for the Cardinals on a one-year deal, but anything longer wouldn’t. Reports that Scutaro has two or three year offers on the table from the Giants would seem to take the Cardinals out of the bidding.
Mozeliak seemed to downplay a possible deal with Scutaro while speaking in general terms about middle infield depth, saying, “We’re not spending as much time as people think in this market. Our focus has been on other areas, but we’ve certainly kicked tires.”
Asked repeatedly about the middle infield and links to Scutaro, Mozeliak said, “It seems like these questions are being drawn to these links, and I’m not going to start getting involved in every tweet that out’s there, but I think what’s being written about is maybe not 100 percent accurate about what we’re trying to do.
“We want to try to make sure we understand what that landscape looks like, free agent market and trade market, and if there’s something we feel makes sense, we’ll try to pursue it.
When asked specifically about reports the Cardinals were interested in the former Giants infielder, Mozeliak said, “I can’t comment on that.”
The Cardinals are also interested in acquiring a left-handed reliever and a veteran right-handed bat for their bench. Mozeliak stuck to his Monday prediction that most lefty relievers would sign before the Winter Meetings end on Thursday.
“I think there’s going to be movement, yes,” Mozeliak said.
Former Nationals reliever Sean Burnett remains the most attractive — but most expensive — available left-hander on the market. Others include Mike Gonzalez, Randy Choate, J.P. Howell, Manny Parra and Joe Beimel. Left-hander Bill Bray, who spent six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, signed a deal Monday with the Nationals.