Amidst all the ballyhoo in every general manager's office is a soft cadence:
Each strike of the clock heightens this thrill ride known as major league baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, set for 4 p.m. ET Thursday.
In the middle of this drama sits St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, contemplating his next move(s), which could impact his club for years to come.
Mozeliak's biggest priority is a starting pitcher to fill the fifth slot in the Cardinals' shaky rotation. And it's no secret what he's looking for. The Cardinals have not disclosed who will start Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers in what will be the biggest series to date.
While the Cardinals continue on their current six-game road trip, Mozeliak must pull the trigger on a starter, preferably a marquee arm.
Mozeliak added depth to his staff Wednesday afternoon by acquiring Justin Masterson in a trade with Cleveland. This minor deal surely comes as an appetizer to the main course. That's my thought process, anyway.
Let's take a look at some top-name targets on the market.