As the trade deadline rapidly approaches this afternoon, St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak began making some big moves for pitchers.
The Cards landed 2013 All-Star righty Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians yesterday. In exchange for Masterson, the Indians acquired outfield prospect James Ramsey. After the lack of pitching due to injuries, it’s no surprise the Cardinals would trade for pitchers.
On top of yesterday’s deal, the Cardinals recently made a deal with the Boston Red Sox in order to obtain veteran pitcher John Lackey. On top of getting Lester, St. Louis also received minor-league lefty Cory Littrell and cash considerations. In return for the two pitchers and cash, the Red Sox received outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly.
Reviewing this trade, I believe the Cardinals made a good move to acquire Lester. I don’t quite understand the dealing of Kelly. Yes he’s been injury plagued since suffering from a hamstring injury early in the season, but Kelly had a lot of upswing considering he’s only 22. Dealing Allen Craig was just a matter of time. Craig has been having a lackluster season, not making a dent in the lineup in the four spot for manager Mike Matheny.
Both of these moves within the last 24 hours have proven that Mozeliak wanted to make moves for pitching, but weren’t willing to put up big bucks for Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price. This got me thinking: could this potentially be a move to open up a multiple team trade in order for the Cardinals to trade for Price. I believe this to be unlikely. No pun intended, but Price’s price is way too high for the Redbirds to acquire him without giving up more on the trade than needed.
The trade deadline has proven that the Cardinals are trying to build a solid rotation around ace Adam Wainwright. If the Cards want to make the playoffs, it won’t matter if pitching is solid. The team needs to get runners on base and the big bats need to put together more RBIs. If the run average remains at 3.65, 29th in the league, the Cards can count on one thing- missing the playoffs.
Spoken time and time again, the Cardinals can and do make runs late in the season. With a tight Central Division in the NL, the Cardinals need to figure out their runs problem prior to September. Scrambling at the last minute to pull out a division title or wild card spot will not prove anything this season. If the Cardinals cannot remain consistent, this will occur every season from here on out. I like the moves to acquire veteran pitching for the ball club, but this may in fact be a rebuilding year for the Cardinals.
It has been an interesting trade deadline for the Cardinals and I will continue to update as more news rolls in.