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.
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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