The Cardinals, in effect, are renting shortstop Khalil Greene for a year. Greene, who can be a free agent at the end of next season, was acquired from San Diego for two pitchers: submariner Mark Worrell, who spent some time in the majors last season, and a one to be named.
Greene had 72 homers from 2004-07, including 27 with 97 RBI in 2007, but slumped to .213 and 10 homers last season before ending his season on July 31 by punching a storage unit in frustration after his 100th strikeout.
He adds another 100-strikeout man to a team that had three already in outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel and third baseman Troy Glaus. But Greene is a steady defensive player, and whatever pop he provides certainly will be more than the 24 RBI produced by slick-fielding Cesar Izturis in 2008.
There are a couple of second basemen already in place, but the Cardinals regard Aaron Miles more as a super utility player, best used as a late inning pinch hitter, and Adam Kennedy has requested a trade. The club probably could get by with Kennedy, who hit a light .280, as its second baseman for 2009, but it appears that neither Kennedy nor manager Tony La Russa wants that.
The Cardinals did not offer arbitration to Felipe Lopez, who in his two months with the Cardinals after being let go by Washington hit .384 and wound up playing second base after trials at several other positions.
NOTES AND QUOTES:
--After finally signing LHP Trever Miller, who went from a two-year deal to a one-year deal because he was found to have a slight labrum tear in his left shoulder, the Cardinals also were wooing another left-handed reliever, Arthur Rhodes. Miller can make $2 million with incentives.
--RHP Chris Carpenter, often ailing the last couple of years, was to have a nerve exam on his right shoulder before the start of the winter meetings. If no improvement was found, the Cardinals would be shopping for a starter.
--The Cardinals did not offer arbitration to any of their eight free agents, including rotation member Braden Looper, who worked 199 innings last season and was 12-14. RHP Jason Isringhausen, who has had elbow surgery, wasn't offered arbitration but might be back in an incentives-based contract. Others not offered arbitration included valuable relief specialist Russ Springer, LHP Ron Villone, LHP Mark Mulder, INF Felipe Lopez, SS Cesar Izturis and OF Juan Encanarcion.
--SS Khalil Greene will be paid $6.5 million for 2009 on the back end of a contract he had with the Padres. It was not immediately known how much of the contract the Padres were picking up to make the trade with the Cardinals.
BY THE NUMBERS: 30 -- Number of left-handed hitters LHP Trever Miller fanned out of the 91 he faced last season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's risky for them to give me a two-year deal with the situation in my shoulder." -- LHP Trever Miller, who had agreed to a two-year deal for $4 million before a labrum tear was found and the deal was restructured to a one-year deal for a potential $2 million.
ARRIVALS: SS Khalil Greene (trade with Padres), LHP Trever Miller (free agent from Rays).
FREE AGENTS: OF Juan Encarnacion, SS Cesar Izturis, INF Felipe Lopez, RHP Jason Isringhausen, RHP Braden Looper, LHP Ron Villone, LHP Mark Mulder, RHP Russ Springer.
IN LIMBO: 2B Adam Kennedy already has asked to be traded and will be accommodated. OF Chris Duncan might be dealt, too, but he was sidelined with a disk problem in his neck in the second half of the season and must prove he is healthy before the club would consider moving him. INF Brendan Ryan appears to have worn out his welcome, and RHP Joel Pineiro could be moved if the Cardinals acquire starting pitching help.
RHP Chris Carpenter (sore right shoulder, right elbow surgery in November 2008) didn't have a clear timetable for his return following the elbow procedure.
1B Albert Pujols (nerve transposition surgery on right elbow in October 2008) should be ready for the start of spring training.
RHP Jason Isringhausen (flexor tendon surgery in September 2008) already was rehabbing before the season ended.
OF Rick Ankiel (abdominal surgery in September 2008) was recovering at season's end.
OF Joe Mather (left wrist surgery in September 2008) should be ready for spring training.
OF Chris Duncan (neck surgery in August 2008) should be ready for spring training.
LHP Randy Flores (left shoulder surgery in September 2008) should be ready for spring training.
LHP Jaime Garcia (Tommy John elbow surgery in September 2008) likely will miss all or nearly all of the 2009 season.
LHP Tyler Johnson (left shoulder surgery in May 2008) missed the rest of the 2008 season.