I don't want to come off as one of those talk radio callers who suggests that the Cardinals trade Joe Mather to the Yankees for Alex Rodriguez... But I've given a lot of thought to the Birds' pitching sitution with Kyle Lohse out for two months up to the rest of the season and Brad Penny on the shelf, too...
So, while I don't think this is ever going to happen in a million years, I submit this idea purely for discussion:
What if the Cardinals shipped Colby Rasmus to the Astros for Roy Oswalt?
Yeah, yeah... I know. Rasmus has power and speed. He's cheap because he's only in his second season and Oswalt's owed $19 million over the balance of this season and next year. But the financials could work if Houston kicked in about a third of the Oswalt's salary -- and that's not at all too much to ask in return for a potential All-Star of the future.
Oswalt would be under contract for next year, so basically you let Penny walk -- which was almost certain to happen anyway -- and you have $9 million with which to pay Oswalt in 2011. The Astros get a great return for their ace and save about $11 million over this season and next.
The Cardinals instantly have the best rotation in baseball:
And this becomes the starting lineup"
While Rasmus is a good player, you don't really lose that much with Schumaker in centerfield. Skippy is an excellent outfielder and a .300 hitter, although with out the power of Rasmus.
Like I said, I know it's never going to happen. But it's pretty exciting to think about that rotation. Especially if the Cardinals make it to the playoffs. The Birds would miss their utility man if Lopez becomes a starter. But they could more easily find a bench guy than an ace quality starting pitcher.