Cardinals are “exploring” trades for Cole Hamels or David Price, signing Max Scherzer

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From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi

The St. Louis Cardinals say they like their starting rotation. But that is not preventing them from pursuing a major upgrade.

The team is exploring trades for left-handers Cole Hamels and David Price and the possibility of signing free-agent right-hander Max Scherzer, according to major-league sources.

St. Louis has five excellent starters in Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, and Carlos Martinez. Young left-hander Marco Gonzales is another rotation option and Jaime Garcia is expected to be recovered from his latest shoulder surgery by the beginning of the 2015 season.

But there are serious question marks surrounding Wainwright, who needed a cleanup procedure on his right elbow in late October, and Wacha, who logged only 107 innings in 2014 due to right shoulder troubles.

Hamels is due $94 million over the next four seasons and carries a $24 million vesting option (or $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout) for 2019. Price is set to become a free agent next offseason.

Scherzer, a native of St. Louis, is thought to be seeking a contract worth close to $200 million.

Mets lose Robinson Canó, Jeff McNeil to injured list

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As Bill wrote last night, Robinson Canó — bashed for his lack of hustle just a few days ago — busted it out of the box last night and strained his hamstring. That has now landed him on the injured list. Adeiny Hechavarria took over at second base after Cano’s last night and is starting there in today’s game versus the Nationals. No timetable has been given for Canó, but one usually misses at least a couple of weeks with hamstring pulls, sometimes longer.

Also going on the shelf for the Mets is Jeff McNeil, who hurt his hamstring on Tuesday. J.D. Davis will cover for him until he comes back. Michael Conforto is the next regular outfielder who should return to the fold. He has still not been given an offical comeback date after hitting the injured list with a concussion, but it was reported yesterday that he has been symptom free for a few days, which is a good sign.