ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Of course this was going to happen, right? Just as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, just about everything is falling into place.
The starting rotation is on fire. The bullpen has suddenly found solid ground. The offense is, mostly, hitting.
And the team is winning. That's now five wins in six games for the 'Birds.
On the looks of it, there really isn't a spot on the roster that is in desperate need of help. If you would have said that a few weeks ago you'd be laughed at.
But since then guys like Fernando Salas have put together a 0.77 ERA in July. Guys like Joe Kelly continue to pitch well (2.78 ERA in eight starts) when you thought for sure he'd be figured out by hitters at some point along the line. And the one player really struggling, Victor Marte, was able to be optioned to AAA-Memphis because they liked what they saw from Brian Fuentes in the minors.
Again, there isn't an obvious roster spot where you look at it and say "Man, the Cards have to do something there".
But just because that's the case...in no way, shape or form does that mean the Cardinals should stand idly by and watch their competitors get better.
The Pirates have already gotten Wandy Rodriguez. The Dodgers just traded for Hanley Ramirez. The Reds always do something and, make no mistake about it, Walt Jocketty has something up his sleeve.
The Cardinals, while there isn't one lacking spot at this point, still need to get better.
If the teams you're chasing for a playoff spot are getting better and you're not...what's happening? The deficit is going to be that much harder to overcome.
So if someone like Barret Browning is giving you solid value as a 3rd lefty but you have the ability to go trade for a hard throwing, veteran righty that's been there, done that and has even more value...no disrespect to Browning...but the Cardinals just got better.
You don't have to look at the trade deadline as a time to add solely cornerstone pieces. Not everyone is getting Zack Greinke.
Getting incrementally better is still getting better.
And getting better at this time of the year, well, is kind of the name of the game.