(BaseballStL) -- It’s clear the Cardinals need some pitching help for the second half of the season. Even when Jaime Garcia and Todd McClellan return there’s no guarantee they’ll be effective. John Mozeliak says he doesn’t want to deal a player off the major league roster to land a starter or quality reliever in a trade. That might not be possible.
The Cardinals have a trade chip in Matt Carpenter. He’s been a nice player off the bench this season. Carpenter’s currently hitting .291 with 3 homeruns in 134 at bats. He’s a guy who can play several different positions. The problem for Carpenter is that he’s blocked at those positions by players who figure to be around awhile. He’s not going to play ahead of David Freese at third, Allen Craig or Lance Berkman at first, or Carlos Beltran in rightfield. Two of the Cardinals top prospects in the minors, Matt Adams and Oscar Tavares, also play the same positions as Carpenter. Matt Carpenter is a nice player to have on the bench, and a guy you’d like to keep if possible. But if he could be used to acquire the pitching help the Cardinals need it would make sense to make that kind of deal.
The Cards would likely also have to include one of their top prospects to land a Cole Hamels or Ryan Dempster or Zach Greinke. If it means trading Shelby Miller, they should go ahead and pull the trigger. The Cardinals are a veteran team built to win right now. If Matt Carpenter and/or Shelby Miller turns out to be a star the Cards will have to deal with that. It happens sometimes, as it did with the Dan Haren trade for Mark Mulder. But the future is now for the Cardinals. As a team built around its veterans they should shove all in and do everything they can to win it again this year. The Central division is there for the taking, and as we saw last year, if you just get in the playoffs you’ve got as good a chance as anybody of winning the whole thing.