12/09/08 12:41 AM EST
Cardinals committed to Kennedy
Decision for starting second baseman likely forces Lopez out
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that he has all but removed Kennedy's name from the trade market. Instead, the Cardinals expect to go to Spring Training with Kennedy as their starting second baseman.
"I think he really is out of play," Mozeliak said. "I just think we've exhausted the market. We understand that if he gets the opportunity to play, he's committed to doing that."
Frustrated over dwindling playing time, Kennedy requested a trade late in the 2008 season. The Cardinals pondered their trade options, and the Diamondbacks for one expressed interest. But St. Louis found no suitable options, so it appears that no deal will go down.
That likely means that Lopez won't be back. The versatile infielder hit .385 with St. Louis after being released by Washington. However, with a commitment to Kennedy, and the acquisition of Khalil Greene, the Cardinals have only a utility job to offer Lopez.
"When you look at, if you're going to play Kennedy and you've got Greene, is he looking to be a utility player or is he looking to play every day?" Mozeliak said. "I think that's a very fair question. I haven't met with Scott [Boras, Lopez's agent] yet, but I think that's how it has to be presented."
Mozeliak said that as things currently stand, Kennedy and Lopez are mutually exclusive on the Cardinals' 2009 roster.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.