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Trade update, July 29

As the trade deadline nears, all is quiet in the NL Central, at least as far as teams trying to help themselves for a playoff run goes.

The Pirates dumped SS Jack Wilson to Seattle in exchange for prospects and well traveled infield Ronnie Cedeno and they are said to be close to a deal to send Freddy Sanchez to San Francisco.

It doesn't look like any major deals are on the horizon for the Cardinals or their chief competitors. The Phillies traded Wednesday for former Cleveland lefty starting pitcher Cliff Lee and the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers all seem to be short of the prospects and cash needed to land the big prize of the trade market. Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

It appears that bullpen help is the most likely target of all three Central contenders (the Astros have said that they plan to stand pat). The Cardinals could also be interested in a back of the rotation starter if one was available cheaply. But such a deal would become more likely after the waiver free trade deadline.