Catching Up With The Cardinals: December Edition

If you’re like me, the quietness of the Cardinals’ offseason combined with the business of the holiday season lends itself to feeling out of the loop.

No worries! Let’s catch up on the latest news together, shall we?

saint_louis_cardinals_logoThe biggest story this week is one that ended without actually ending. The Cardinals appeared to be all set to finalize the purchase of the Memphis Redbirds, as announced in mid-November. With John Mozeliak in attendance at last night’s City Council meeting, the plan was to finish up the details and obtain the council’s approval.

That plan hit a snag when the council members began arguing they hadn’t had sufficient time to review the changes to the plan or the Xs and Os of how it would/could all work.

With a Dec. 31 deadline to complete the purchase, the timeline grows tighter and tighter with each delay, this time until the council reconvenes on Monday.

For great, detailed coverage and a play-by-play recounting of last night’s meeting, check Kyle Veazey’s twitter timeline. Several great quotes there, including this one from Mozeliak who seems quite determined … as usual:

As an added wrinkle to the Memphis story, yesterday, the Redbirds officially announced the plans for an exhibition game between the Triple A squad and the Major League team, scheduled for March 28th at AutoZone Park. The exhibition game would be the final game before the regular season begins for St. Louis. Tickets to see the “Battle of the Birds” are available in pre-sale to Redbird Champions Club members.

Meanwhile, amidst a crazy day of baseball transactions, the Cardinals’ Front Office was mainly quiet.

Soon-to-be-former Cardinal Carlos Beltran continues to be courted by teams willing to consider multi-year contracts, and the Royals have emerged as a possible front-runner. There could be no more serendipitous ending for Beltran, having started his career with Kansas City in 1999 … unless, by the end of his rumored three-year contract, the Royals could manage to win him a ring. That would probably make it a little more perfect!

Another Cardinal on the move looks to be John Axford. The Cardinals non-tendered the late-season addition yesterday, officially sending him off to free agency. While the bullpen appears to be stocked with high pedigree without him, Axford’s personality will be missed!

Meanwhile, the Cardinals did tender contracts for Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso and Peter Bourjos, and the focus shifts to finalizing terms with each of the three (hopefully) prior to the Jan. 17 deadline to avoid arbitration hearings in February.

Of course, the offseason is always a good time for “feel-good” stories. By now, you’ve likely seen the New York Times article on Shelby Miller’s recent wedding celebration, but if not, it also provides an interesting look at Miller’s personality away from baseball. He also talks about finding perspective after not pitching in the playoffs.

And then click on over to another story to make you smile: Rob Rains on Mitch Harris, the pitcher whose career was put on hold by this little thing called “active duty.” His first season — at age 27 — was everything he could have expected. Now, he’s looking to exceed expectations in year two.

Finally, if you’re searching for the perfect Christmas gift for me for your favorite Cardinals fan friend/family member, the Cards have you covered. Ticket Packs go on sale Friday for the 2014 season.

With Winter Meetings right around the corner, what do you expect to hear from the Cardinals Camp? What would you like to hear?

Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on twitter @tarawellman, and Follow AMF on Facebook!

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