As most of you can tell, I like trades and signings. It's what I live by, which is why I want to be a General Manager someday. As I write this now, I'm watching Spider-Man 3. Is that important? No, not really...it's just a good movie. It's also 1:30 in the morning. So, here we go.
The St. Louis Cardinals are 82 games into the 2008 season and holes are already appearing. Sure, you can say that this team has overachieved, but you can always try to fill holes. So, here's the Cardinals shopping list, listed from the most important to the least important.
1. Power bat to bat behind Pujols
2. Left handed relief
3. A dominant starting pitcher to add
The Cardinals have been going on for years without a capable bat to put behind Albert Pujols. Sure, 2004 was good with Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds, but those numbers were somewhat fluke years for those two.
The Cardinals need a real legitimate bat to put behind the best hitter in baseball. Without it, the Cardinals can't get anywhere. They don't need a player who's playing over his head. They need a real bat. This list includes, but is not limited to: Adam Dunn, Magglio Ordonez and Matt Holliday
As for a left handed arm to put in the bullpen, a problem occurs. You never know with trades for bullpen help. Flash back to 2006 with the Gary Majewski trade. Lets also not forget the deal for Duaner Sanchez. So, you should always be careful and only deal for arms that are guaranteed to do well. This list includes, but is not limited to: Damaso Marte, Ron Mahay and Brian Fuentes
The starting pitcher role be harder to fill. There aren't many options out there right now. Mainly because it would be a rent-a-player type of deal or the asking price is too high. I'll do my best (haha) to name some good ones. So, this list includes, but is not limited to: Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Justin Duchscherer, C.C. Sabathia, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett.
Now, for trade chips. The Cardinals have a short list, but a list that continually pops up. This list can actually be satisfied. The Cardinals minor league system has certainly deepened this year and with nine players making their Major League debuts this year, that makes them viable trade partners for prospects.
Plus, they also have several two or three veterans that could produce with a change of scenery. Oh yeah, they have a Triple A team that has several prospects ready to be added to the Major League roster and many Double A prospects primed for a 2010 debut.
The Cardinals also have some Major League players that could be, and I use the word 'could' very loosely, used as trading chips. That list is Ryan Ludwick, Adam Kennedy, Jason LaRue, Skip Schumacker and Russ Springer.
So yes, it will take a lot to make a deal. General Manager John Mozeilak is hesitant to deal away any of his minor league players. He also wants to look within for answers instead of outside the organization to fill holes. So while this list is short, the Cardinals may still have a bare cupboard on August 1.