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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Why No St. Louis Cardinals Trades?

The perceived need for a trade to ease the ongoing offensive challenges for the St. Louis Cardinals was accentuated by an unlikely source over the weekend – a pair of extra-inning bullpen failures in which Pittsburgh prevailed both times. In the process, the red-hot Bucs closed the National League Central Division race to 2 ½ games.

Some seem to have lost sight of the fact that both of these teams are very good.

MLB goes into its All-Star break with St. Louis (56-33) and Pittsburgh (53-35) possessing the best records in all of baseball. The games between the two have been close and competitive, as one should expect. Five of the 10 head-to-head matchups this season have ended in walkoffs – three for the Cardinals and the two this past weekend for the Pirates.

Though it is understandable for Cardinals fans to be nervous and upset over the way the most recent two contests were lost, over 70 games of baseball remain, including nine more between these two rivals.

As I mentioned at the start, the cries for a trade to help the offense, specifically first base, are increasing. Some fans are reading into public quotes and have already decided for themselves that the Cardinals will stand pat.

Here is my response, as posted on The Cardinal Nation message board:

Smart GMs don’t do their trading through the media. How often in the past have the Cards telegraphed a major trade vs. us being surprised when it was announced?

People who think teams can magically create trades without having a willing partner are totally unrealistic.

For those who equate the appearance of doing nothing now to doing nothing always, how many trades are being made by other teams in MLB right now?

The answer is none. Two wild cards increased parity, so more teams are in competition deeper into the season. That means there are fewer teams ready to blow up their rosters.

Right now, every single AL team is within eight games of the wild card. In fact, only two teams in all of MLB are more out of it than eight games. Teams still want to foster the aura of hope as long as possible so they can keep selling tickets and keep getting viewer TV ratings. Any prospects they add in trade now aren’t going to help them this year, anyway.

The July 31 non-waiver deadline will create some urgency, but waiver trades can be made in August.

I imagine the resident nay-sayers know this already, but don’t care about any of it.

Just make a trade, Mo!

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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16 Responses to “Why No St. Louis Cardinals Trades?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Matt Holliday will be off the DL soon. Jaime Garci, Jordan Walden and Matt Belisle hopefully soon as well. Jay will come off, but he was ineffective when he played and he hasn’t been missed.

    Mozeliak said on KMOX radio last night: “If we get our health back, we’re probably not going to have to go out and make that major move”

    • Brian Walton says:

      Perhaps it gets down to what one considers a “major move”. In my book, Cole Hamels or Joey Votto would be a major move, not only because of the caliber of player, but the cost of acquisition. On the other hand, Ike Davis or Adam LaRoche would not.

      Some people equate “major move” and “no move”. Recent history has been such that the Cards at least try to pick up some help each summer and usually add a useful piece or two. I am fine if they don’t blow up what is already a very good team with a major move, though.

      • crdswmn says:

        Mozeliak told Goold any move he makes will be short term, not impact the 2016 roster. Adam Lind would fit that strategy; Ike Davis has another year of arb eligibility.

        This is a nice comprehensive article about Mozeliak’s deadline strategy and his reasoning behind it.

        • crdswmn says:

          Adam LaRoche would also not fit the strategy, he is under contract through 2016

          • Brian Walton says:

            OK, but I was just throwing names out to make a broad point on big names vs. average guys, not to do individual player analysis. Joey Votto was completely out of the air. Also it is fair to note that a player with arbitration eligibility is not guaranteed a contract. He can be non-tendered as was Daniel Descalso most recently.

            Some will be disappointed if a major name is not added to the team, regardless of the cost.

            • crdswmn says:

              I am not disagreeing with your premise at all. I am just pointing out that the possibility of Mozeliak standing pat is not far fetched. Do I think he will make some move? Yeah, I think he will, but a small one.

              Sure, you can non tender an arb eligible player. You can also trade a player under contract. But when I read “short term” solution, I think of half season rental.

              • Brian Walton says:

                It is great the Cards have a blueprint and I believe they will intend to follow it. However, if an unexpected deal comes along that does not fit that model and they like it, I would imagine they will remain flexible enough to give it a fair hearing. (In Mo’s lingo, being “opportunistic”). That is less likely, however, since there are almost certainly going to be more teams looking for help than ones willing to trade key parts at a reasonable price.

                When all is said and done, I agree with you that it will be a relatively small move.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Not a lot of sellers at the deadline these days. And it seems to me the ones that are are contending teams, or teams that think they are still contending, looking to trade prospects for major league ready players. The “win now” strategy (see: Beane, Billy) The very few actual rebuilding teams are the ones that benefit the most.

                  The extra wild card has really changed the complexity of the trading season.

  2. Bw52 says:

    Here is a interesting name for RH hitting 1B………..Adam Duvall 1B-3B SF giants AAA team.Giants see him as a better 1B than 3B.He got 70 plus ABs in the majors in 2014 .Has some power and could fill the role that Scruggs failed again to fill.He is rated as one of SF top 30 prospects and he has minor leagfue options left I think.Might be worth checking out as a under the radar move.

    • Brian Walton says:

      If they are going to try a prospect, why not give their own prospect, Piscotty, a chance first?

      • Bw52 says:

        Piscotty is a RF trying to be a 1B.Duvall is a guy who can play 1B and 3B who could factor in future plans, also as a backup at 2 spots.Piscotty will probably be top backup or in playing OF rotation in 2016 so why not make a move that can possibly help now and the future.Cards will next a backup next year to give Carp a breather and Duvall can be a RH option at 1B.Do you forsee Reynolds returning next season? I doubt it.I doubt both Jay and Bourjos are back next year also.Piscotty should be up this September at least.

  3. blingboy says:

    The significance of using a photo of Kozma above did not get past ol’ bb.

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