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Plugging the Cardinals’ Shortstop Hole

It’s been nine months since the trade that brought Ryan Theriot to St. Louis, and the shortstop picture for the Cardinals is no clearer today than it was then. With their playoff hopes all but officially extinct, the prospect of another offseason spent looking for up-the-middle help looms large.

The trio of players who have garnered playing time at short for the Cards this season have been unimpressive, producing a combined 0.4 WAR in approximately a season’s worth of plate appearances. Theriot is an obvious non-tender candidate, while newly acquired Rafael Furcal will almost certainly have his $12 million option declined and become a free agent at the end of the season. This leaves the Cards with only Tyler Greene as an internal option, and the free agent market for shortstops is about as thin (the obvious exception being Jose Reyes, who the Cardinals have almost no hope of signing if they expect to keep Chris Carpenter and/or Albert Pujols). While the Cardinals will likely either give Greene a shot to hold down the job, or pick up another bargain during the free agency period, I’d like to propose that the Cardinals consider a radical alternative that could provide the team with a definitive edge: Albert Pujols.

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