December 4, 2008

Khalil Greene to be Bird Red

... Weeks ago, I painted a picture with the color of Khalil Greene coming to St. Louis to don Cardinal Red. It was a possibility at the time.

I thought the move was an appropriate fit for the Cardinals, although it seemed apparent the club was seeking shortstops a bit more proven, or at least more, experienced, like Edgar Renteria.

Then the Greene subject was discussed at length on the United Cardinal Bloggers Radio Talk Show last night, but no one put much stock in the San Diego middle infielder coming to St. Louis. And, there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for the move, either; rightfully so, according to data on the man's last several seasons.

Even when including a breakout year (2007), Greene's numbers just didn't stack up to a lot of production (on a 5-season average).

So when a fellow UCB member e-mailed me with a link to the New York Post story, it sounded so thin I thought the write-up was Pure Grade A Horse Hockey.

I now seems the NY Post scooped the story.

Still, the speculation was that the Cardinals were giving up two pitching prospects, and maybe more unsettling, there was no mention of the Padres eating any of Greene's $6.5 million salary. How could that be? Haven't the Cardinals been avoiding an extra million like the plague, saving their nuts for Sunday, so to speak? (The Winter Meeting, actually.)

Now, however, Greene must pass a physical, and that can be an adventure in itself in St. Louis. There is probably a portion of Cardinal Nation that hopes Greene doesn't pass it. Not me.

It was, and is, my contention, that Greene will restore himself at the plate. That's just my analysis of how I've seen him swing. But the thinking of Cardinals' management may be that even if Greene has a mediocre season, there's a great chance his numbers are going to push well above those of Cesar Izturis.

Greene's glove will not match Izturis's, but the former Pad is not far behind one of the premier shortstops in the game today.

While I do believe a player should make all the pay he can, I would understand an ownership of making some sort of deal that chops some of Greene's current salary. Otherwise, even I would get a bit frustrated at the idea that Looper could've been offered arbitration.

The Greene acquisition (if completed before the Winter Meeting) marks a sudden shift in gears for GM John Mozeliak, who only a few days ago, was starting to get heat from all corners of Cardinal Nation for what seemed a complacent attitude toward fulfilling many obvious club needs. Now the heat will certainly come in his matter of choice.

So be it.

I like the move, as long as the Greene contract doesn't hinder any aggressive play next week in Las Vegas.

photo by SD Dirk

STLtoday - Cards trade for Greene: "The Cardinals apparently have addressed their question at shortstop by acquiring one of the league’s largest enigmas.

Hours after formally agreeing to a one-year deal with free agent reliever Trever Miller, the Cardinals traded for San Diego Padres shortstop Khalil Greene Wednesday night."