The Cardinals have been very quiet leading up to the Winter Meetings next week, such has been the trend over the last several years. The most significant November signing the Cardinals have made, and I use significant loosely, in recent years is the signing of Jake Westbrook mid-November last year. Outside of that, you have to go all the way back to 2005 when the Cardinals signing Mark Grudzielanek to a 1 year deal. So, as you can see, the Cardinals are wont to be pretty quiet in the month of November.
The Winter Meetings provide the Cardinals with an opportunity to lay their groundwork for their off-season moves. In 2010, Lance Berkman signed just two days before the Winter Meetings. In ’09, Brad Penny and in 2008 the Trever Miller and Khalil Green acquisitions. However, they tend to make some of their bigger deals in January. In 2008 the team picked up Troy Glaus from the Blue Jays for Scott Rolen and in 2010 came the Matt Holliday signing. The January big-contract may not come this year, though, with Albert Pujols saying previously that he expects to have his contract situation resolved prior to Christmas. If the Cardinals are fortunate, their big month will be December this year with the announcement of an Albert Pujols deal… a Christmas present we can all enjoy.
I would expect this 2011 Winter Meetings to be very very quiet; since adding Sam Freeman, Chuckie Fick, and Adam Ottavino the Cardinals only have four spots left on their 40-man roster. That’s three slots when Albert is re-signed and the team could still make a move for a definitive solution at shortstop/second base. Unless there’s someone who really catches their eye, and we’ll look at the Rule V options in the coming days, the front office won’t make any notable moves in the next couple weeks.