The St. Louis Cardinals might have $200 million more in their budget than they expected to have this time last week, but Yu Darvish—aside from Prince Fielder the biggest name left on the board—remains an unlikely solution for the Cardinals' newfound Pujols problem. The Japanese ace is better than Daisuke Matsuzaka, if his Greg Maddux impression in 2011 is any indication, but the Cardinals show no indication of being able or willing to put something like $40 million on the board just for the chance to negotiate for his services.
That said, there's a case to be made that they ought to be—given the inflation of pitching salaries this offseason, characterized by Mark Buehrle's $58 million deal with the Miami Marlins, and the deflation of Japanese import expectations following Dice-K's transformation into a nibbling injury victim, Darvish could theoretically end up a bargain for whichever team wins the bid. Fortunately or unfortunately, there's no indication yet that the Cardinals will be that team.
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