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Cardinals defensively challenged

The Cardinals opened the winter looking to upgrade at least two of the three infield spots alongside Albert Pujols but haven't done anything more significant that importing Ryan Theriot to replace shortstop Brendan Ryan. Cardinals pitchers will miss Ryan's fielding, just as they may wonder how general manager John Mozeliak could have signed Lance Berkman to play the outfield. … The Twins made a good move re-signing Jim Thome, as Justin Morneau remains an unknown in his comeback from postconcussion syndrome. Carl Pavano is likewise expected to re-sign but he has been taking his sweet time weighing offers, leaving open the possibility for another team to step in and make this an awful offseason in Minnesota. … The Rangers are another team that could come to the White Sox for John Danks, Edwin Jackson or Gavin Floyd. The Rangers appear to have finished a close second to the Cubs for Matt Garza. … The Rangers had made a strong push for Thome, as it did Garza. … The third base competition will be fun at the White Sox camp. Dayan Viciedo has no place to play except third with Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko on the roster, so he will be fighting Brent Morel and Mark Teahen for the job, with Omar Vizquel also hoping to earn at-bats. … Reports out of the Dominican Republic say five teams have interest in Manny Ramirez. If that's true, then only 25 teams were scouting the White Sox last September when Ramirez stole $4 million. … Ex-Cub Matt Murton, who broke Ichiro Suzuki's Japanese hits record with 214 last season, told ESPN that he would like to come back to the United States after his contract with the Hanshin Tigers ends in 2011. He's defensively challenged but batted .286 in 346 big-league games before being lured to Japan. … The Nationals' Yuniesky Maya was named the top pitcher in the Dominican Winter League with a 1.32 ERA in eight starts.

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