It is the time of year for the Hot Stove to get stocked up and the Rumor Mill to fill to the brim.
When you are the World Champions, those rumors are a bit fewer and far between. The Cardinals have a few needs this off-season, all of which begin with the retention of their superstar, Albert Pujols.
News broke last week that the Marlins met with Albert in Florida and took him on a tour of the new stadium. Rumor is circulating now that the offer made from Miami to Pujols is a nine year offer. No financial information has leaked as of yet. Albert has repeatedly said that a franchise that is built to win is a primary interest, leaving some to wonder how serious he is considering an offer from Miami.
It is a bit surprising that the game’s top free agent has only been linked to one team so far this year. Cardinal general manager John Mozeliak is set to meet with Dan Lozano, Pujols’ agent, face to face during the GM meetings being held this week in Milwaukee.
Also on the Cardinals rumor front this week is the coaching staff, which seems to be a mixture of rumor and news at this point.
It has been widely reported that Memphis manager Chris Maloney has been promoted to the major league coaching staff, though no one knows what role that is for as of yet and the team is officially not commenting on the move. Subsequently, rumor is also circulating that Springfield manager Ron “Pop” Warner will be taking over the Memphis helm, much like he took over Springfield from Maloney in the past.
A veteran managerial name has surfaced in regards to the bench coach position opened up by the rumor that Joe Petini is no longer a part of the Cardinal family. Grady Little, former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the man that Terry Francona replaced in Boston, has been rumored to be in discussion with the team. Again, no official word on this, but Little comes with a bit of a controversial background, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for this announcement.
The Cardinals will be looking to solidify the middle infield this season and hope to be able to retain late season acquisition Rafael Furcal. Furcal has put himself into a good position by having a healthy showing in Cardinal red down the stretch run and is now rumored to be seeking a three year deal or, at least, a two year deal with an option year. No word on the money the shorstop is looking for, but our friends at MLB Trade Rumors feel that he has limited his suitors drastically. The Brewers have interest in him, but no word if they have interest in meeting his demands.
John Mozeliak, when asked about Furcal’s situation, stated: “I’m not going to base our reaction on rumors or innuendo. But if I woke up tomorrow and he was signed I’d be a little disappointed.”
Finally today, the Cardinals are planning to hold a “Red Carpet Screening” of the 2011 World Series Film next week in St. Louis. Fans can be a part of the premier by attending the event on Tuesday, November 22 at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at WorldSeries.com. Download the official announcement (PDF) by clicking here.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
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