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2011 Cardinals are becoming scarce in St. Louis

It's been a bad few months for the 2011 World Series champs.

So far this week, the St. Louis Cardinals have lost former closer Jason Motte, who threw the last pitch of the Redbirds' most recent championship, and Daniel Descalso, who played a key role in St. Louis' phenomenal Game 6 victory.

Both players left as free agents with Descalso signing a two-year deal with the Colorado Rockies and Motte signing a one-year pact with the National League Central Division rival Chicago Cubs,

The club lost slugger Allen Craig, who caught the last out in 2011, in a trade with the Boston Red Sox at the 2014 trade deadline.

That leaves only three starting position players from the team's 11th World Series championship: Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay.

Previously gone were Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, David Freese, Rafael Furcal, Ryan Theriot, Skip Schumaker and Gerald Laird. It's amazing how quickly things change in baseball in only a few short years.

Then there's the loss of Chris Carpenter and Kyle McClellan to career-ending injurie, Kyle Lohse to free agency and Jake Westbrook to age. On the bright side, Adam Wainwright is still going strong after missing the 2011 campaign to injury, Lance Lynn has emerged from a supplemental piece to a major part of the starting rotation and, I suppose, Jaime Garcia is still around to potentially make a miracle comeback from health troubles.

Times change and players become ineffective or too expensive. But it's always a shame to see old friends go on down the line.