By Rob Rains

While the Cardinals are still in discussions about trading for Giancarlo Stanton, they also are apparently pursuing a free agent slugger.

Sources told STLSportsPage.com on Tuesday the Cardinals have had conversations with the agent for Logan Morrison, whose 38 homers last season for Tampa Bay tied him for the eighth highest total in the majors.

Indications Tuesday were that the 30-year-old Morrison was considering offers from both the Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels.

Signing Morrison would not require the Cardinals to give up a draft pick in compensation because he did not receive a qualifying offer from Tampa Bay.

Morrison, a left-handed hitting first baseman, is coming off the best season of his career. In addition to his 38 homers, he drove in 85 runs and also drew 81 walks. The jump in homers came after he made adjustments to his swing, resulting in the highest fly ball percentage of his career, a rate of 46 percent. He did strike out 149 times in 513 at-bats.

Morrison, a native of Kansas City who went to the same junior college as Albert Pujols, earned $2.5 million on a one-year contract with Tampa Bay last season. He appeared in a career-high 149 games, 126 of them at first base.

Morrison has also played with Miami and Seattle during his seven years in the major leagues. His previous career high in homers had been 23, in his second year in the majors with the Marlins in 2011.

If the Cardinals do sign Morrison, it’s not certain what that would mean for the future of the team’s current left-handed hitting first baseman, Matt Carpenter, who also has played third and second base in the past.

The general managers meetings are taking place this week near Orlando, Fla., where the Cardinals also have reportedly been pursuing potential bullpen help on the free-agent market..

As far as the Stanton discussions are concerned, the Marlins have been considering trade options with multiple teams, hoping to find somebody who not only will agree to assume all of the remaining $295 million on his contract but give up several top prospects in exchange as well.

Stanton, with a full no-trade clause in his contract, also would have to approve the trade and there have been unconfirmed reports that he would turn down a deal to the Cardinals.

The Cardinals also are known to be interested in potential free agent Shohei Ohtani if he gets posted and is approved by Major League Baseball to jump from Japan to the major leagues.

Ohtani, 23, wants to remain a two-way player pitching and playing the outfield, and has said money is not going to be the most important factor in his signing decision. The Cardinals are restricted from offering Ohtani or any other international free agent under 25 more than a $300,000 signing bonus because of going over their international free agent salary cap last season.

Some teams which did not exceed their cap could offer Ohtani a signing bonus of about $3 million.

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