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Cards have eye on future with acquisitions

Cards have eye on future with trades

ST. LOUIS -- As they introduced both their newest star and a young man they hope will be a future star, the Cardinals charted a course for the near future on Monday afternoon.

Prior to Monday night's game against the Dodgers at Busch Stadium, St. Louis introduced both new acquisition Matt Holliday and 16-year-old Dominican signee Wagner Mateo to the hometown media. More telling, though, the team's principal owner said he hopes to be able to re-sign not only Holliday but Mark DeRosa beyond the 2009 season.

"Certainly we'd love to sign Matt Holliday long term," Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "That will be our objective. When you make a move like this, as we did with [Scott] Rolen, [Jim] Edmonds, [Mark] McGwire and others, you hope that given this atmosphere, they'll want to stay here. That's what we hope with Matt."

Holliday declined to shed much light on his plans. He is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season.

"I'm going to enjoy myself and try to help this team get to the playoffs and make it to the World Series and work every day I can to be the best player that I can be and go out and do things to help this team win and leave it there," he said. "I think there's a time and a place for all of those other things, and when that time comes, that's when I'll do my evaluating."

Still, DeWitt made it clear that the hope is that neither of the club's recent high-profile trade acquisitions will be a rental. DeRosa, like Holliday, can be a free agent this winter. Julio Lugo, also acquired in trade last week, is signed through 2010.

In making all three trades, the Cardinals parted with a great deal of young talent. That means that they are almost certain not to make any similar moves before Friday afternoon, when baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline arrives. If St. Louis adds any more players -- say, for example, a relief pitcher or a fifth starter -- it will not part with prospects to do so.

"If there was something out there that made sense, that wasn't going to cost us something from below, that was cost-neutral, then we'd consider it," general manager John Mozeliak said.

"We've given up an awful lot over the last three weeks. Looking ahead, when you look at how you value our Minor Leaguers, we feel we have a group of still fairly premium prospects up there, and there might be a little wider gap now below. But we need to maintain our depth."

That leaves the Cardinals with one intriguing trade chip. Troy Glaus, who is rehabbing at Double-A Springfield in an attempt to recover from offseason shoulder surgery, could conceivably fetch a pitcher. Glaus cannot play third base, but he could play first or serve as a designated hitter for an American League team. It is likely that the Cardinals will trade him.

"Right now I think it's going to be something where we look to try to find a place where he'll get more at-bats and more opportunity," Mozeliak said. "Right now, given our club, that would be very hard to do [here]."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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