Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak told ESPN radio that the club plans to try to improve its bullpen through trade.
No specifics were given about potential targets or the timetable for making such a deal. But major league closers Heath Bell of the Padres and Fernando Rodriguez of the Mets are expected to be available. And, obviously, a whole lot of lower profile candidates are likely available for middle of the bullpen slots.
Mozeliak shot down talk that he was interested in recently demoted Phillies southpaw J.C. Romero. And just to prove he wasn't playing hard to get with Philadelphia, Mozeliak dissed Romero by saying that he didn't consider the pitcher to be an upgrade over what the Cardinals already have.
Trever Miller, who didn't seem to be able to get anybody out for quite a while, has pitched quite a bit better lately with an impressive three out, no hit inning Friday night against the Royals and a successful left handed specialist outing the next day. He's sporting a 2.63 ERA. Fellow bullpen lefty Brian Tallet, however, has been terrible since returning from a stay on the disabled list.
Tallet is 0-1 with a 7.15 ERA over 11 1/3 innings. He's given up 17 hits and four walks over that stretch to allow an average of 1.85 baserunners per inning.
Jon Jay was a guy who some teams have been said to covet. But he's going to land a middle reliever in trade, not a major league quality closer. Can the Cardinals afford to deal Jay with him penciled in to play right field while Albert Pujols is out and Lance Berkman shifts from the outfield to first base? Or would the club be better off to engineer a mega deal centered on Colby Rasmus that would bring more in return?
It's hard to say now that the roster has been turned on its ear. But the Cardinals need to focus on the fact that Pujols will be back in about six weeks. They not only need to stay afloat until then. But they also need to be in a position where they can win should they make it to the post season after Pujols returns.