The Cardinals are sending mixed messages about whether they plan to try to trade off any of their players now that they've fallen out of playoff contention.
But it doesn't really matter what they want to do. It matters what is doable. And the fact of the matter is that the players the Redbirds could trade either wouldn't be very desirable to other clubs. Or they wouldn't fetch enough in return to get excited about.
Pending free agents include Ryan Theriot (who has been exposed as perhaps the worst fielding infielder in baseball), Skip Schumaker (who is a fourth or fifth outfielder with little power who dabbles in a little second base on the side), Edwin Jackson (who hasn't been very good since being landed from the White Sox,) Lance Berkman whom the club might hope to retain in 2012, Chris Carpenter who has an option for next season that I hope the Birds will renegotiate or pick up and, of course, Albert Pujols who has said repeatedly that he would not accept any trade.
There's not much value to trading any of these guys that would be willing to go. And they likely have more value as future Cardinals than as former Cardinals.
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The guys the Redbirds would benefit from trading are big money players who have a year left on their contracts: Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook. Lohse, who has a season at $11.875 million left on his four-year deal signed after the 2008 campaign, has a full no-trade clause. Westbrook likely wouldn't draw much interest because he has been mostly terrible and seemingly disinterested for much of the season.
I think we're stuck with what we have for the rest of this season, maybe with a few September call-ups sprinkled in.