Cardinals may not meet financial demands

Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said Sunday that the Cards will likely not be able to sign pitcher Greg Maddux, according to MLB.com.

Jocketty told the Web site that he had spoken with Scott Boras, Maddux's agent, and that he would like to have Maddux on his pitching staff for 2004. But he said that the future Hall of Famer and the team cannot agree on the financial aspects of the deal.

"Not at what he's asking for now," Jocketty told MLB.com when asked if Maddux could fit into his team's plans. "If they lower it considerably, then we'd have to think about it. But I wouldn't count on it.

"I think they've got a figure in mind that they want and a contract level that they want, and no one has come to that level yet, and I'm not sure anybody will."

Maddux spent the last 11 years with the Braves after pitching for seven years with the Cubs. He has racked up 289 wins and four Cy Young Awards and has won at least 15 games in each of the last 16 seasons. The Cubs are interested in bringing him back, and the Web site reports that Chicago has offered him a two-year contract worth approximately $14 million.

Even that figure may be out of St. Louis' range.

"I have had contact with Boras," Jocketty said. "In Maddux's case, I think there are probably some offers out there, but I don't think he's close to taking anything at this point, and they have not necessarily given us what it would take to sign.

"It would be very difficult. It depends on if the right financial deal was struck, and I'm not sure that is possible. What I've tried to do is keep the dialogue going with them."

The Cardinals head into the 2004 season with a projected rotation of Matt Morris, Woody Williams, Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan and Jason Marquis.