The St. Louis Cardinals are open to signing a free-agent outfielder, and they're reportedly interested in former Cleveland Indians stalwart Michael Brantley, a source told MLB.com's Jon Morosi.
St. Louis has the financial flexibility to add a player like Bryce Harper, team president Bill DeWitt III indicated Monday, but Brantley would represent a more affordable option.
However, it would take a "series of moves" - missing on other targets and either trading or shuffling current players - in order for St. Louis to sign Brantley, multiple sources told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Cardinals' last free-agency splash for an outfielder was an $82.5-million, five-year deal for Dexter Fowler, whose effort level was publicly questioned by team executives this summer. He's under contract for three more seasons and hit .180/.278/.576 in 2018.
If the season began today, St. Louis would start Harrison Bader, Marcell Ozuna, and Jose Martinez in its outfield.
Following two injury-plagued campaigns, Brantley rebounded in 2018. He hit .309/.364/.468 and was named an All-Star for the third time.
The 31-year-old isn't expected to return to Cleveland and has reportedly received offers from the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies.