Cards not expected to re-sign Lohse, Berkman

Cards not expected to re-sign Lohse, Berkman

ST. LOUIS -- Though not officially closing the door to negotiating with either, general manager John Mozeliak gave no indication that the Cardinals will pursue free-agents-to-be Lance Berkman and Kyle Lohse.

Berkman and Lohse are the only two players on the club's roster set to enter free agency upon the conclusion of the World Series.

It's little surprise that the Cardinals intend to move on without both veterans. The Cardinals have the pitching depth, particularly with the emergence of several young pitchers, to weather the departure of Lohse, who went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in the final year of a four-year contract with St. Louis.

"Kyle had just a brilliant year for us," Mozeliak said. "I suspect the free-agent market would treat him very kindly. You can see the depth that we have coming. [Pursuing Lohse] is not something I'm prepared to rule out today, but I would say it's unlikely at this time."

Injuries hampered Berkman's ability to ever get going in 2012, a season in which he was limited to only 81 at-bats. Though Berkman said he doesn't expect his surgically repaired knees to hold him back in 2013, the Cardinals really don't have a spot for him even if he were to return with a clean bill of health.

With Carlos Beltran set to be the team's starting right fielder, the Cards plan to keep Allen Craig as their everyday first baseman. That leaves St. Louis with little to offer Berkman aside from a spot on the bench.

"I would certainly say that I have not sat down with him to talk about it," Mozeliak said. "I don't know what his expectations are or what he would envision his role being. But clearly, getting everyday at-bats with the St. Louis Cardinals would be very remote. He has to determine what he wants to do."