The St. Louis Cardinals got their man. Okay, their other man—less than a month after Albert Pujols spurned them for the Los Angeles Angels, the Cardinals signed longtime NLCS nemesis Carlos Beltran for one Deci-Pujols over one-fifth of a Pujols year—or two years and $26 million, if you haven't yet switched over to the metric system.â†µ
Rafael Furcal might not have returned to the Cardinals if Pujols had resigned, but this is the first true test of the Pujols era—without a franchise cornerstone taking up a cornerstone-sized spot on the payroll the Cardinals are able to react flexibly to a host of team situations; here they saw a collection of possibly fragile parts in the outfield and at first base, and reacted to it by signing another fragile part—one who had an OPS over .900 last year after two seasons plagued by injury.
The major question of the deal will be whether Beltran's able to stick in center field; he moved to right last year after persistent knee problems. But this deal is itself the first chance we have to see what the future of the Cardinals will look like under John Mozeliak.â†µ