According to reports by Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the St. Louis Cardinals may be interested in one of the front-end starters on the free agent market, along with two from the trading block.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2015
Right now it is clear that the team would prefer one of either David Price or Cole Hamels, rather than Max Scherzer. Scherzer is currently a free agent, while Price is set to hit free agency in 2016, and Hamels can become a free agent in 2018 (Team option for the 2019 season). Scherzer has local roots to the city, and would cost no prospects, but is reportedly looking for a very big payday.
Price is entering his final year of arbitration, and is on a Tigers team that is looking to compete now. Though it is unclear what the Tigers would want in return, there have been murmurs of possibly trading him. The Tigers have not yet tried to talk to Price about a long-term extension, and with so much financial commitment in the future to stars such as Miguel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler, it might make sense to deal the southpaw.
Hamels has been on the trade market for quite some time, with several teams interested in the 31-year-old lefty. The Cardinals are not on Hamels no-trade list, so that could not stop a deal. The Phillies are in a clear rebuilding mode after sending long-time player and fan favorite Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers and trading Marlon Byrd to the Reds. The Cardinals have several young starters that might interest the Phillies, such as Carlos Martinez and outfielder Peter Bourjos, who has caught their attention several times.