Not only will the loss of Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia to injury hurt the St. Louis Cardinals directly. It could also make it tough for the team to trade to fill those holes - or any of its other flaws.
I've worried for a year that the Redbirds' wealth of high end prospects would paralyze general manager John Mozeliak's ability to make a trade to improve the club because opposing general managers would try to be opportunistic and pressure the club to overpay for talent.
Every time you hear a rumor involving the Cardinals, the opponent wants Oscar Taveras, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and Bill DeWitt III's children. And that was for middle of the pack shortstops who were pending free agents.
The loss of two starting pitchers could give the false impression to the competition that the Cardinals are now desperate for help. And the price for talent is likely to only go up.
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That being said, the Cardinals are decidedly NOT desperate. Carlos Martinez almost made the starting rotation out of spring training and he would have been starting already in 80 percent of the starting rotations in MLB. The guy who beat him out, Joe Kelly, is said to be about a week away from returning. How many teams have the luxury of adding a pitcher who is 16-6 since the beginning of the 2013 season from within?
While the Redbirds might like to strengthen the front end of their rotation for a potential playoff run, they have enough pitching in house to win the NL Central. What they need is more offense. That could come through trade, through promotion or just by the guys who are already on the roster playing up to expectations.
I hope the Cardinals play it cool when it comes to making any deals just like they did over the winter when other teams tried to hold them up. The team, at some point, will have to make moves because it has more players than it has positions, in some cases. But that doesn't mean it should make a deal for the sake of making a deal.
Mozeliak said Sunday that the team is always open-minded about potential deals. He said he would never say the club wouldn't trade Oscar Taveras because "what if someone offered us three Oscar Taverases for him." But he stressed that the team wouldn't make a move in effort to win now that would jeopardize the future.
With the high asking price of other teams, it seems much more likely the Cardinals will make a smaller scale deal than an earthshaking move.
Of course, the injuries to Wacha and second baseman Kolten Wong ought to put a damper on rumors that those two could be part of a potential deal. So, at least that is something of a silver lining.