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St. Louis Cardinals' Trade Deadline Strategy Blueprint

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St. Louis Cardinals' Trade Deadline Strategy Blueprint
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As the July 31 MLB trade deadline inches closer, the St. Louis Cardinals will have a few decisions to make to improve the best team in baseball at the time of writing.

Last season, the Cardinals scored their 2013 closer, Edward Mujica, at the trade deadline. He has paid dividends ever since. During the 2011 season, the Cardinals also made a few trades that bolstered the bullpen, which helped the Cardinals win the World Series.

So what will the move(s) at this deadline look like for the Cardinals?

Well, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, they have already started making moves with the trade of Mitchell Boggs to the Colorado Rockies on July 9.

While the Cardinals don't have any glaring holes to fill at the moment, I would expect they would make a few deals at or before the July 31 deadline.

 

What the Cardinals Will Do

Now that the Cardinals have shed themselves of Boggs' inconsistency and poor performance, expect them to follow suit with lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Rzepczynski has pitched very poorly the last two seasons for the Cardinals and hasn't been able to get anyone out when called upon. 

In 2013, Rzepczynski posted a 7.88 ERA at the big league level. During his time in Memphis, Rzepczynski has put up a 3.03 ERA, but it's Triple-A baseball; he should be better than that.

Perhaps a change of scenery would do Rzepczynski well, and he could be a lefty specialist for another team.  

The Cardinals have moved on with the emergence of lefty Kevin Siegrist. Siegrist has yet to allow a run in his 11 innings of work and has struck out 15 batters as well. Additionally, Siegrist has stifled hitters, holding opponents to an .057 batting average. 

 

What the Cardinals Should Do

With the release of utility man Ty Wigginton, per Derrick Goold, the Cardinals need to find a more productive utility man for the stretch run. Wigginton was just this side of completely awful during his time with the Cards.

St. Louis Post Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz summed up the Wigginton signing best in his daily video blog.

In essence, Wigginton probably needed a few more at-bats to get on track, but I am of the opinion that those at-bats wouldn't have yielded anything more than what we've seen so far.

So it's up to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak to find that bench guy who can pinch hit, play multiple positions and provide a spark off the bench in whatever capacity he is called upon to do so.

I think Mozeliak is one of the smartest GMs in baseball, so I have complete faith he'll find someone to fill that role. Plus, if history is any indicator, Mo will find someone who will help play a role in pushing the Cardinals into the postseason.

 

Summary

No team is exempt from holes in the roster, but if anyone can make the case, it is the Cardinals. They simply don't have any gaping holes to fill, and with such a strong farm system, they can fix from within when needed.

While I do expect them to make a deal for another utility man and dump Rzepczynski for some minor leaguers, I don't expect any major trades to come down.

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