Adams remains part of Cards' immediate plans

VIERA, Fla. -- First baseman Matt Adams arrived at Spring Training with an understanding that the Cardinals' roster situation didn't shake out favorably for him. Allen Craig would be the team's starting first baseman again, leaving Adams to compete for a bench role.

The five-year contract that Craig agreed to on Friday doesn't change much for Adams. But it does again raise questions about how he fits into the club's long-term plans.

"That's really out of my hands," Adams said. "The thing that I can control is getting my work in and coming to the ballpark each day and wanting to learn and get better. Whatever they do with me -- whether it's send me to Triple-A, keep me with the Cardinals or whatever -- I'll be ready."

Barring injuries, Craig will stay at first base this season since Carlos Beltran returns to handle right field. Looking to 2014, there's a high probability that Oscar Taveras enters the picture. He would seem a natural fit to replace Beltran, whose contract ends after this season. That would put Craig at first again and keep Adams squeezed from the picture.

General manager John Mozeliak cautioned against connecting those dots already.

"I look at Craig as he gives you flexibility to play first or in the outfield," Mozeliak said. "I think what you're trying to do is secure offensive players and he gives you flexibility, which is nice. As far as Matt Adams is concerned, we're going to try and find ways to get him at-bats.

"I see [that] things happen in life and being prepared and having options makes a lot of sense. I'm not going to worry about next year. I'm going to worry about now."

Adams is 8-for-20 with two home runs and seven RBIs this spring.