St. Louis Cardinals' Winter Meetings wind down as bullpen rumors subside

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The St. Louis Cardinals' time at the 2012 Winter Meetings draws to a close with one item checked off their low-impact to-do list.

For some teams the 2012 Winter Meetings were a chance to fulfill their fanbases' wildest rumor-mongering and recreate their team from the ground up. The St. Louis Cardinals, though—they came in with a list, and they've come out with the top item on it, having signed lefty specialist Randy Choate to a three-year contract on Wednesday. As teams file out of Nashville Thursday, it looks like whatever the Cardinals do next will come later, after they've had time to evaluate the state of their 40-man roster and the post-meetings marketplace.

Of course, the end of the Winter Meetings hasn't stopped the rumors from coming about the Cardinals' infield and bench conundrum. Joel Sherman of the New York Post included them in a list of teams still targeting the hard-hitting, hard-missing Scott Hairston, while Jon Morosi mentioned some utility infield options, including Sea Bass Gonzalez and noted Aaron Miles protege Chris Getz:

Whatever happens later, though, the Cardinals will leave the meetings having accomplished exactly what they planned to accomplish. We can question whether their grocery list had "Guy Who'll Barely Pitch" and "Back Up To Fragile Shortstop" in the right order, but we can't argue with John Mozeliak's sense of restraint.

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