The Cardinals' search for middle infield and/or pitching help may have led the club north of the border.
According to reports out of Toronto, the Blue Jays were scouting the St. Louis -- Houston series over the weekend. Because of the fact that the Blue Jays don't play St. Louis or Houston for the rest of the season, I'm guessing this isn't just advance bird dogging. Neither Toronto nor Houston seem likely to finish better than fourth in the their division, so it would appear the Cardinals and Jays might be talking trade.
The Toronto Sun reports that the Blue Jays have made their closer, Kevin Gregg, available. I doubt the Redbirds are going to give up on incumbent finisher Ryan Franklin after one bad outing against Colorado. But I could imagine them trying to add a bullpen arm. If they did, Kyle McClellan might become the answer to St. Louis' starting pitching woes by being moved to the rotation.
The Blue Jays could offer 33-year-old shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who is hitting .259 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs at short and Aaron Hill, one of the few -- if not the only -- major league starter with a worse batting average than Ryan. Hill, a career .275 hitter who averages 17 homers annually at second base, is hitting .189 this season with 12 longballs and 33 RBIs.
The fact that the Jays were looking at the parent club is a bit curious. Last season there were rumors that Toronto liked Brendan Ryan... Teams would likely still be intrigued by potential closer Jason Motte... Or are the Cardinals showcasing Jon Jay by playing him so much the last few days?
The Blue Jays have several good starting pitchers: Ricky Romero, 6-6, 3.71; Shaun Marcum, 7-4, 3.44 and Brett Cecil, 8-5, 3.97. But I doubt St. Louis is prying away any of those three without including Albert Pujols, Colby Rasmus, Adam Wainwright or Jaime Garcia in the deal.