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Wainwright woes lead to Rasmus chuckles

If nothing else, the misfortune of Adam Wainwright's elbow injury is giving Cardinals fans an opportunity for a good laugh.

No, I'm not going all Jonny Gomes on you. I'm just marveling at all the ridiculous trade suggestions that are popping up on the internet from fans and scribes of other teams hopeful of taking advantage of the Birds' misfortunes.

They're nothing if not laughable.

For instance, it seems that everyone in the city of Atlanta thinks the Braves ought to trade one of their bottom end hurlers to the Rebirds for Colby Rasmus.

Let me explain a couple of things to them. First, the Cardinals are not short of fifth starter candidates. They're missing one of the top five pitchers in the National League. If you're not offering a guy who has the skills to be an ace, there's not a match here. Second, if you are willing to pony up your ace, the Cardinals can't afford to pay him. So you better be prepared to eat nearly all of his salary just to give him away.

The Birds currently have a payroll about about $106 million, which is a franchise record by far. They can't add a pitcher who makes $15 million a year. If they could, they probably would have already handed that cash over to Albert Pujols.

The most popular offering on the Braves fan boards is a swap of Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami for Colby Rasmus.

Nevermind the fact that Kawakami makes $6.67 million in each of the next two seasons. Even if Atlanta volunteered to eat all that cash and give him to the Cardinals for free, it's still a stupid deal to give up a power hiting centerfielder who makes less than half a million bucks for a pitcher who last season was 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA.

Um, thanks for the offer. But no thanks.

Second on the Braves fan hit parade is a swap of Derek Lowe for Rasmus.

Lowe was more palatable on the field with a 16-12 record and a 4.00 ERA in 2010. But he makes $15 million this season and next... And he is going to be 38 years old this season.

Maybe if the Braves gave the Cardinals Lowe and $50 million for Rasmus it would be a decent deal. Then Lowe would be free and the Redbirds could put the other $20 million in the Pujols kitty.

If there was any Braves hurler I'd want, it's Tim Hudson. Mark Mulder's former teammate in Oakland has expressed interest in the past in pitching for the Cardinals and he has a much more reasonable $9 million salary for each of the next two seasons.

He was 17-9 last season with a 2.83 ERA in his first full season back after missing a year and a half after arm surgery. Hudson will be 35 this year, so there would be lots of head scratching over whether it was sane to give up a young power hitter for an aging pitcher with a marred health history.

But the Braves are looking to fleece the Cardinals, not to give up their ace. So that would never happen in their fantasy land.