St. Louis Cardinals: Which Pitchers Should They Pursue?

Brock PruntyCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2008

After Monday night's game, the Cardinals' pitching looks great, but everyone in St. Louis knows that a deal has to be made.

The Cardinals are 16th in the league with a 4.28 ERA. They are also 14th in saves with 28, even though their 53 save opportunities is third-most in the majors.

As anyone can notice, the rotation and the bullpen are both tired. The Cardinals rank first in the league in innings pitched with 974.2 and rank third in hits allowed with 1,038.

The Cardinals starters are struggling to pitch into the seventh or eighth inning, which is wearing out the bullpen.

Currently, many pitchers are being mentioned as trade candidates for the Red Birds. Names being thrown around include Brian Fuentes, A.J. Burnett, Roy Halladay, George Sherrill, Jarrod Washburn, and the newly-added Will Ohman, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

The A.J. Burnett rumors can be put to rest, as the Jays have announced they won't trade the right hander (and after Monday night's start, why would they?). It would be great to see Roy Halladay in a Cardinals uniform too, but the asking price for the former Cy Young award winner is too high, as the Jays would ask for a slew of top prospects and a couple players that are in the big leagues now.

Halladay is upset and wants to win now, but you'll probably see his name being thrown around in the off-season. Although the Glaus-Rolen trade has worked out for both teams, I can't see another Jays pitcher (via trade) on the Cardinals' staff.

If most of you don't know, the other former Jays' pitcher I am referring to is Chris Carpenter, who I'm glad to say will return to the rotation on Wednesday. The Cardinals signed Carpenter via free agency in 2003.

The Jays wanted to demote him due to injuries, but Carpenter didn't take it lightly and chose free agency (By the way, what is up with the Blue Jays angering their players over the years?).

Jarrod Washburn is rumored to go to the Yankees, which has turned into a bit of a soap opera. I can't see the Cardinals dealing for George Sherrill, since the Orioles asking price is way too high for the All-Star. The Orioles want a couple big league players and a couple top prospects for Sherrill.

The name that comes to mind is Brian Fuentes. Lefties are batting .172 and righties .236 against him. He has 17 saves in 45 appearances, but has only blown four saves.

I can see the Cardinals dealing for Fuentes, but only at the price they want. It's also reported that Colorado loves the Cardinals' minor league system.

I believe the Cardinals will make a move, and they should if they want to stay in the hunt for October. After Monday night's game, everyone got a glimpse of what's to come with the Cardinals.