Tonight the Cardinals face Phillies ace Cliff Lee. Later this season, Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal says, St. Louis may try to make a trade with Philadelphia to acquire him.
Lee, 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA, is 34 years old. But, he still seems to have a lot of life left in his arm. He was incredibly snake bitten in 2012, winning only six games in 211 innings despite a nice ERA of 3.16.
I agree with the thought that the Cardinals need another front of the rotation starter if they plan to make a playoff run. And fielding Adam Wainwright and Lee back-to-back in a short series is an appealing scenario. But making the playoffs isn't a given for a bi-polar team that shows an encouraging ability to win big -- and then it shows it's equally as likely to get blown out.
The first problem is that Lee signed a huge contract with the Phillies before the 2012 season that runs through 2015. During the last three years of the deal he'll make $25 million a season. And that's a tough contract to swallow for a pitcher who will be 35, 36 and 37 years old.
The second problem is that the Cardinals have the top-ranked farm system in baseball and all potential trade partners are going to push for players like Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha in trade. If I am in charge, those guys aren't going to go out the door in exchange for a veteran who is on the back nine -- or maybe the back three -- of his career.
St. Louis might be able to fit Lee in the budget with a little finessing because it has Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran and Jake Westbrook at the end of their contracts. That's about $40 million bucks coming free.