Okay, that's it: The St. Louis Cardinals officially will not be acquiring a middle infielder, because the Kansas City Royals spent a million dollars on the very last one. Royals Review chose an evocative photo for the occasion: It's Miguel Tejada looking unable to play the infield in 2011, which is now two calendar years ago. That's the year he hit .239/.270/.326 as a 37-year-old confined to third base. The year before that he hit .269/.312/.381.
The year after that—yes, he was in baseball in 2012, and yes, I was also surprised—he hit .259/.325/.296 in AAA Norfolk.
Obviously the Royals are the Royals, and the things they do cannot be reliably extrapolated into league-wide trends, because the rest of the league does not employ Dayton Moore. But the simple fact that Miguel Cabrera will be playing baseball for twice the league minimum in 2013 is as strong an object lesson as there is for the idea that the Cardinals are stuck with the middle infield they have right now. Kelly Johnson's agent probably just invented a gleeful new novelty dance.
More positively, I guess, this can be spinned as a sign we should be content with what the Cardinals have right now. You're worried about whether Daniel Descalso is a regular second baseman? There are starving kids over there in Kansas City, wondering whether Miguel Tejada can still hit like Daniel Descalso. Be grateful.