Buster Olney wonders...
...if the Cardinals are among the many teams that have made some financial projections and decided to ratchet back their payroll, in the midst of their offseason moves. Some teams have done that by as much as $20 million, according to sources -- and more cuts may be forthcoming, as the teams get a clearer read on their season-ticket renewals.
By "some teams," of course we're talking about the Astros here, but you get the sense that the Astros taking more of a cautionary stance as far as payroll is concerned is the norm and not the exception.
Once the off-season settles down and free agents and arbitration come in, we'll revisit this November 13 post comparing how the Astros spent their money in 2008, but you have to wonder if the Cardinals aren't spending money now in order to reserve the cash necessary to resign Albert Pujols, whose current contract ends in 2010 (with a club option for 2011, which will definitely be exercised unless, you know...he slams his wife's head into a car.
It will be interesting to see how payrolls are affected in 2009.