Jason Miller/Getty Images
The Asdrubal Cabrera-to-Cardinals speculation has been going on for months, but there's a reason why: It makes sense.
The biggest obstacle at the moment is that the Indians have been playing better of late, and at 51-44 coming out of the break, they're only 1.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Obviously, trading a quality starting shortstop in the middle of a division race might not be the savviest move.
So if this one is going to happen, it would likely be later in the month, perhaps even on deadline day, because it could take a full two weeks for the Indians to determine whether they really are in or out.
It's hard to say they're not in it at the moment, certainly, but even Cleveland fans would likely admit that the Tigers are the better all-around team. Part of the reason for that, of course, is that the Indians are in need of better starting pitchers, which is where trading Cabrera comes into play.
The Cardinals have so many high-end young arms that they might not even be able to fit 'em all in, so trading one or two would be logical. One of the deeper teams in baseball, the one thing St. Louis lacks is—you guessed it—a shortstop.
To solve that problem for 2013 and beyond—Cabrera is signed through next season—might St. Louis be willing to give up, say, Carlos Martinez? The 21-year-old righty flamethrower made his major league debut this year and has a bright future ahead of him, but the Cards are using him in the bullpen because the rotation is in good shape. Plus, former ace Chris Carpenter could be making his way back to help out later in the year.
Heck, Martinez could even help the Indians this year, so it wouldn't be a true "sell" situation, and he would then team with Trevor Bauer to form a dynamic duo with considerable upside going forward. And while Cleveland would miss Cabrera, they have Mike Aviles to fill in and top prospect Francisco Lindor to take over eventually.