ST. LOUIS (AP) -Cardinals manager Tony La Russa expects to return for a 13th season with St. Louis, and may commit to the team before it selects a new general manager.
La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he'd be back barring complications in discussions with team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. His three-year deal expired at the end of the season.
``The fact that we're talking pretty much daily and everything is progressing tells you where it's heading and where we'd like it to end up,'' La Russa said in a story that appeared in Saturday's editions. ``Obviously, that's assuming nothing falls through the cracks.''
La Russa left a message for The Associated Press on Saturday saying he was only talking to the Post-Dispatch about his situation.
La Russa told the newspaper he has not delayed his decision to gauge possible interest from the New York Yankees, who parted ways with manager Joe Torre on Thursday.
``I'm talking to Bill because that's where I want to be,'' the 63-year-old La Russa said. ``Frankly, I'm offended the question is even being asked.''
La Russa said he may sign before a replacement is found for former GM Walt Jocketty because of concerns entering free agency.
``If you wait until someone is hired, a player or two we have interest in could have headed down another road,'' La Russa said. ``You take some of this on faith. But I'm glad Bill has confided in me.''
La Russa last year became the franchise's winningest manager, and in 2006 led the Cardinals to their first World Series title since 1982.
DeWitt said earlier in the week that the Cardinals might wait until after the World Series to name a new GM. The Post-Dispatch said Cleveland Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti is among the team's candidates.
John Mozeliak, interim GM under Jocketty the last five seasons, is the lone in-house candidate. Mozeliak previously interviewed for GM openings with the Reds and Astros.

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