Last week I posted on the free agent pitchers I would like the Cardinals to pursue.....so this week it is on to the position players. I've gone through the list, and similar to the pitcher's list, there are not a lot of names that I find very inspiring. In fact there are only two names here I am interested in:
Rafael Furcal - Dodgers: Would probably be pretty expensive, and is coming off an injury filled year, but he would fill some needs as a leadoff hitter, and to supply some stolen bases at the top of the order. Furcal could score a lot of runs hitting ahead of Albert, Ludwick, Glaus, Lopez, Ankiel, etc.....
The scenario I can see happening here is that Furcal takes over the leadoff spot, and Skip Schumaker is traded as part of a deal for starting pitching or relief help. Colby Rasmus could then potentially take the 2 spot in the lineup, which would be ideal for him in his first year, hitting ahead of Pujols. If Furcal is signed, I would also like to see the Cards sign Felipe Lopez to play second base. Furcal would upgrade the offensive production we got out of Cesar Izturis and could be a catalyst for our offense.
Orlando Hudson - Diamondbacks: Like Furcal, he turns 31 this off-season, and the Cardinals have always seemed to have a lot of interest in him. Would bring great defense more offensive production to 2B.
In this scenario, I would see the Cards not resigning Lopez and maybe resigning Cesar Izturis to play SS. The infield defense of Glaus, Izturis, Hudson and Pujols would be the NL's best, most likely.....and would be a great fit for a Dave Duncan "pitch to contact" pitching staff. I'd see Hudson as maybe a 6 hitter, or possibly in the 2nd spot. He primarily hit 3rd for Arizona in 2008, but he obviously won't hit in the 3 spot in St. Louis.
Other than these two, there just isn't a lot I'd be interested in. I've heard minimal rumblings about other infielders like Juan Uribe or Orlando Cabrera of the White Sox, but I'm really not very interested in either. If the Cards don't go after the two I've mentioned above, I'd probably prefer them to acquire an infielder via trade, dealing from their surplus of outfielders.....OR.....re-sign Lopez and Izturis and then focus the rest of the payroll surplus on the bullpen and rotation.