Please update the fans on the latest with Matt Holliday. Since he has worked with Mark McGwire in the past, will he be more interested in the Cardinals with McGwire as hitting coach?
-- Monti S., West Point, Va.
This was, unsurprisingly, the No. 1 question in my mailbox this week, and unfortunately there's not much to report right now. The last thing I was told, some preliminary feelers had been issued, but the Cardinals simply didn't expect any movement imminently.
History tells us that unless Holliday gets directly involved -- a la Kyle Lohse last year, an unusual situation -- this is not going to be a fast process. Scott Boras' history is to take his clients, especially his top clients, onto the open market.
As for McGwire, I am of the opinion that his hiring will not have any significant impact on whether Holliday returns.
My guess is that Holliday will be wearing a different uniform in 2010, but one way or another, we are not likely to know very soon.
Colby Rasmus had an up-and-down year. But, at the same time, we got to see a lot of young Rasmus and some of the tools he offers to the Cardinals. With that said, what are the reasonable expectations for him going forward? Is he an All-Star in waiting? Is he a "solid" everyday player? Or is he something less?
-- Bob P., Springville, Tenn.
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I remain a steadfast Rasmus believer. As I and several of my colleagues noticed, few if any Cardinals took better at-bats than Rasmus in the Division Series, which I consider a good sign.
Rasmus needs to stay healthy, but if he does, I believe Rasmus will play on some All-Star teams. I expect a considerable step forward in his production in '10.
If Holliday doesn't come back, then what are the chances of Allen Craig winning the left-field spot?
-- Ryan N., St. Louis
Probably pretty slim. Craig's best chance at being a part of the '10 Cardinals is probably as more of a part-time player. I expect that if Holliday does not re-sign, the Redbirds will sign an external player to replace him. David Freese has a better chance than Craig of being in the Opening Day lineup.
Glad to have the Inbox back. Is Bryan Anderson usable as a trade chip to improve in another area, or are his injuries too severe? With Yadier Molina around, it seems Anderson can be expendable rather than a Major League backup. What are the chances of that happening in the offseason or before next year's Trade Deadline?
-- Brian S., Lake Ozark, Mo.
As of right now, Anderson has virtually no trade value, unfortunately. It's not inaccurate to call '09 a lost year for Anderson, who it's no secret has been one of my favorite prospects.
Anderson's in the Arizona Fall League right now, and if he can bounce back there, he can at least rehabilitate his trade value. It's hard for me to see Anderson having any significant place on the '10 Cardinals, though. Even before Anderson got hurt and struggled in '09, Matt Pagnozzi had passed him on the organizational depth chart.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.