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Rumor Mill: St. Louis Cardinals still chasing Lester

The St. Louis Cardinals are still looking for additional pitching help despite the addition of former Cleveland Indians hurler Justin Masterson, according to a Fox Sports report.

The top target for the Redbirds is Boston Red Sox World Series hero Jon Lester. The report claims that St. Louis may have to give up young hurler Shelby Miller to get him.

 I have been critical of Miller in the past because of his inconsistency and apparent resistance to using his secondary pitches more to make his fastball less predictable. Still, Miller's potential far outweighs two months of renting a pitcher. In between bad games Miller has hurled a couple gems this season. He's 23-17 for his career with a 3.42 ERA and only 23 years old.

It would be very tough to watch Miller blossom in Boston -- alongside Lester who is almost certain to return to the Red Sox when he reaches free agency this fall.

Also on the trade deadline front:

The Cincinnatti Reds apparently plan to run up the white flag of surrender.

USA Today reports that the Reds have placed left field Ryan Ludwick, a former Cardinal, on the trading block.

Ludwick has made only 280 plate appearances this season as injuries remain a problem for him. He's batting .261 this season with six home runs.