ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- The well-documented injuries coupled with the recent struggles may have the St. Louis Cardinals thinking about trades before the NL Central gets out of reach.
The team sits only two games out (as of June 11) of the lead in the NL Central and it is unlikely the team will make a move before July 1 after news broke that Chris Carpenter plans to throw off a mound this week. Still to consider is the injury-length to Jaime Garcia, who was recently placed on the 15-day DL and could miss at least two months.
A pitcher like the Astros’ Wandy Rodriguez would be a great fit for the Cardinals. It would be a rare trade within the division, but the Astros are moving to the AL West next season and will likely become “sellers” at the trade deadline. The only concern is that Rodriguez is owed $23 million over the next two years.
Another option would be a trade for the Nationals’ John Lannan, who is currently with the team’s Triple-A squad. The left-hander has already reportedly drawn interest from the Dodgers and Rockies and is owed just under $3.5 million of his $5 million salary. He is eligible for arbitration next year and then can become a free agent. The problem is that sources say the Nationals want the other team to pay the rest of his salary AND trade a “legitimate” player. That is unlikely to happen for a player that is 27 years old and is pitching in the minors.
Another possibility could be a trade for the Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox. He isn’t a pitcher, but he can play multiple positions which is valuable when your key utility players are already hurt. It may not be a smart trade for the Cardinals since it is pitching that is really needed, but don’t be surprised if Youkilis is moved somewhere by the deadline.