The Cardinals acquired Jake Westbrook, cash, and Single A left-handed starter Nick Greenwood today in a complicated three-way swap.
Westbrook is Dave Duncan's dream for a deadline trade. He is a sinker-baller who induces a lot of ground balls. Westbrook has a 4.65 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 53.3 percent groundball rate this season. He had Tommy John surgery in June of '08, and wasn't healthy until this year. He has pitched well so far for the hapless Indians, and should give the Cardinals the shot in the arm they need to make the playoffs.
Nick Greenwood has little information on him to this point. Greenwood was selected in the 14th round of last year's draft and he's now pitching at A ball. The 22-year-old lefty has a 4.15 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 as a starter in the Midwest League.
When Baseball America wrote its scouting report of him ahead of the 2009 draft, the magazine noted that Greenwood showed an average curveball and average changeup that could give him a chance to be more than just a mere lefty specialist. They also stated that the Padres drafted him because of his willingness to pitch to poor contact. Dave Duncan also endorses the poor contact method as well.
Ryan Ludwick, who has been injured recently, just came off the DL last weekend. Thus far he features a line of .281/.343./.484 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. ESPN projects him to hit .281 with 19 HRs and 76 RBI to go along with his current OBP and SLG percentage numbers. The Cardinals will lose a great hitter, and a very underrated defensive outfielder who is having a down year. But they have Jon Jay and Allen Craig to replace him, which is why they made this trade.
The Cardinals made a trade to upgrade their rotation, and also let the youth take over their corner outfield spot. This trade also gives Colby Rasmus full control of CF with Jon Jay taking over in RF, and Allen Craig will get called up shortly to be the fourth OF. The Cardinals did what many thought they couldn't in not trading any prospects, but they still lost a guy who hit 37 HR's in 2008.
St.Louis is adding youth to their team, and a solid fourth starter to its already strong team. But they have an anemic offense and needed Ludwick for depth purposes. The Cardinals grade comes in at a solid C+.