Following the trade deadline, plenty of teams made some bold moves. The St. Louis Cardinals were not one to disappoint. General Manager John Mozeliak definitely shook up the clubhouse when he decided on his trades just before the deadline was reached.
The Cardinals started the roster changes after picking up former Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, whose bat quickly proved to be a solid choice to fill in for injured Yadier Molina. Although not as consistent as Molina, Pierzynski seems to be a decent backup plan until a healthy Molina returns.
After acquiring Pierzynski, Cards GM Mozeliak was determined to build a pitching rotation around ace Adam Wainwright. On July 30th, the Redbirds made a trade with Cleveland Indians for right handed pitcher Justin Masterson, a 2013 All-Star. In exchange for Masterson, the Indians received Cardinals’ AAA-outfielder James Ramsey.
#stlcards have acquired 2013 American League All-Star pitcher Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians. Masterson will start Sat. vs. MIL
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 30, 2014
This was a good trade for Cardinals, getting a solid pitcher with minimal cost of giving up an outfield prospect, a position in which the team seems to have a surplus of as of late.
Following the Masterson trade, the Cardinals stuck with adding pitching instead of picking up another bat. Making a trade on the 31st with the Red Sox, the Cardinals acquired righty John Lackey and minor league lefty Corey Littrell, while dealing 22-year-old righty Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig. As I’ve stated before, Craig needed to improve or be dealt. The fact that Joe Kelly was thrown into this trade confused me at first. He has tremendous upswing being that he’s young and has postseason experience. Granted he injured his hamstring early in the season and hadn’t seen much playing time once fully rehabilitated, I just didn’t think the team needed to let go of someone within the starting rotation.
All-in-all, the Cardinals came out on top this deadline. Yes, the team could’ve added another bat to the lineup, but considering the Cardinals didn’t deal outfielder Oscar Taveras, or relieverturned starter turned minor leaguer Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals did come out as winners.
#stlcards recall OF Shane Robinson from Memphis (AAA) & option RHP Carlos Martinez to AAA. Newcomers John Lackey & Justin Masterson active
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 1, 2014
The team will see how much of an impact the new pitchers will have as Masterson makes his first start this afternoon against the Central Division leading Milwaukee Brewers.
The season may be winding down, but for the Cardinals this trade deadline should bring some new life to the team, leaving the division and wild card spots wide open. My grade for the trades: Masterson-Ramsey- B +, Lackey, Littrell-Craig,Kelly- B –.