The Cardinals let Felipe Lopez walk away to the Diamondbacks for a one-year, $3.5 million contract and were lukewarm to overtures from Arizona to send him back.
Now they are going to get to face the .305 hitting second baseman who can also play short, third and the outfield corners in some very important games down the stretch. He's been acquired by the NL Central Division rival Brewers for a pair of low minor league outfielders.
The news comes the same day that John Mozeliak said in the Cardinals pre-game show that he doesn't feel any sense of urgency to make a deal for pitching help or a bat. He instead dropped a remix of the same old song about players who have been on the disabled list for the entire season coming back to amount to something akin a trade for proven help.
Last year the cavalry was Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder, two pitchers who only made a token contribution before ending up back where they started -- on the shelf. This season it's Troy Glaus, whom Mozeliak admitted is probably going to be a glorified pinch hitter for the rest of the season since he can't throw the ball with anything on it, and Jaime Garcia.
Garcia has been out all year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He was the Redbirds top pitching prospect last season and the team thinks he might be able to make it back into game action by next month. But are Tommy John guys ever very effective until they get some innings under their belt? I don't get how the Cardinals insist they can't trade their prospects, but then they use and abuse and damage their development by putting them in a bad situation, see: Anthony Reyes.
Lopez would have been a nice bat to have around. Something of a poor man's Mark DeRosa. He certainly could have been an upgrade to Joe Thurston's spot on the roster, in my book. But I guess the Cardinals juggernaut offense couldn't use any help, he said sarcastically. (The Cardinals were held to two runs on three hits over six innings Sunday by an Arizona pitcher whose ERA was well 7.91 at the start of the day. He was pummeled in five of his last seven starts.
There was a story in the Arizona Republic this morning about the rumors that Lopez would be traded. He was asked if he would rather play for a contender and he said something along the order of "I'd like to see that happen here."
The writer seemed to think he was talking about playing for a contender with the Diamondbacks, which ain't gonna happen in 2009. But I wonder if he meant that he wanted to play "here" as in St. Louis, where he was standing when he was interviewed during Arizona's series against the Cardinals.
Another valuable but reasonably priced opportunity wasted.