St. Louis Cardinals Trade Scenarios: 6 Ways to Fix the Bullpen Issues
Over the course of the season the Cardinals' bullpen has managed to regress as a whole. There are a few reasons for this regression.
For one, the starting pitching has been mediocre at best. Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia have been hurt, which has led to pitchers such as Jake Westbrook and Adam Wainwright struggling mightily.
Secondly, the bullpen has been unable to find specific roles for each player that allow the unit to perform with any sort of consistency. The club has made a few moves in the past few weeks in terms of demoting and calling up pitchers in the hopes that something will stick, but to no avail.
St. Louis management is typically patient in these types of scenarios. The club has even more room to take a wait-and-see approach with the NL Central being such a close race and the addition of a second wild card spot.
It would still be a smart move for the Cardinals to consider making some moves before the deadline. There are a variety of teams looking to make moves, and that Cardinals could use that to their advantage.
Here are six trade scenarios that could fix the bullpen issues currently plaguing the St. Louis Cardinals:
Acquire Joe Saunders from the Arizona Diamondbacks
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The Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly looking to move Joe Saunders so that the club can promote young talent. Making a move for Saunders at this point would be a smart move for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Saunders brings consistency to what is an erratic bullpen in St. Louis. He currently has a 4-4 record with a 3.5 ERA.
The asking price for Saunders wouldn't be ridiculous given the Diamondback's situation, so it is a gamble worth taking for the Cardinals. He isn't a drastic upgrade over the current inhabitants of the bullpen, but Saunders improves the quality overall.
Move Adam Wainwright to the Bullpen and Trade for a Starter
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Adam Wainwright has had a rough beginning to the season, to say the least. He currently has a 5-6 record with a 4.97 ERA. His struggles aren't the sole reason the bullpen has suffered this season, but it has played a major part.
Wainwright has exited games early consistently this season, which means more pitches for the bullpen. He could be better off in the bullpen at this point, where he could potentially be better in smaller doses.
Moving Wainwright to the bullpen means there would be a hole in the starting rotation. There are several teams in the league looking to move starters right now, including the Houston Astros, the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland Athletics.
All of these clubs have better starters than Wainwright currently, but it is up to the St. Louis Cardinals to make the right offer.
Trade for Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros
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As mentioned earlier, the St. Louis Cardinals require better starting pitching for the club to have an improved bullpen. If the club elects to move starter Adam Wainwright to the bullpen, the Houston Astros' Wandy Rodriguez makes a lot of sense.
It is no secret that Rodriguez has been on the trading block for some time, and remains there thanks to his contract.
Rodriguez is a nice solution to the performance of the entire pitching staff with his 5-4 record and 3.2 ERA.
The fact that the Astros are moving out of the division would make them more likely to entertain trade discussions with the Cardinals. St. Louis would be silly not to make an offer.
Trade for Matt Capps from the Minnesota Twins
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The Minnesota Twins are the worst team in baseball. Having such an honor means the club will most certainly be sellers at the trade deadline in the hopes of landing some quality young prospects for the future.
With the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen in such disarray, Mike Capps would be a smart play for the club. Capps is a player many consider to be on the block, and the Cardinals would be the perfect fit.
Capps currently has a 3.09 ERA and his been impressive for the majority of the season. He would make a quality reliever for the Cardinals and upgrade the unit as a whole automatically.
Trade for Grant Balfour from the Oakland Athletics
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The Oakland Athletics are another club that is likely to be selling as the trade deadline approaches. With a 26-35 record, things aren't looking up in Oakland.
One player said to be on the block is reliever Grant Balfour. For a club with bullpen issues such as the St. Louis Cardinals, it couldn't hurt to make an offer to the reeling A's for Balfour.
Balfour isn't a player that will demand a high price via trade, but he could do wonders for the Cardinals' bullpen. He is a nine-year veteran that could instantly add some depth to the inconsistent unit.
Trade for Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs
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The Chicago Cubs have reportedly made most of their roster open for trade, and that includes starting pitcher Matt Garza. If Chicago cannot sign him to an extension, it is likely the club will trade Garza.
The Cubs have openly stated Garza can be had for the right price, and teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees have a clear interest in the right-hander.
The St. Louis Cardinals should be one of those teams highly interested in Garza's services as well. He could bump the struggling Adam Wainwright to the bullpen and immediately upgrade both the starting pitching and the bullpen.
The Cardinals would have a difficult time ripping Garza from the Cubs because they are division rivals. The move would benefit both clubs in the end, so it is one that should at least be explored.