I will be less disappointed this season if the St. Louis Cardinals don’t make a significant trade or two to bolster their roster for the final third of the season.
Well, because I have paid attention the past three years as the team did little to nothing while their the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers added the likes of Cole Hamels, Brandon Kintzler, Jorge De La Rosa, Joakim Soria, Mike Moustakas, Jonathan Schoop, Gio Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Jose Quintana, Jeremy Jeffress, Mike Montgomery and Aroldis Chapman. I won’t be disappointed because my expectations couldn’t be any lower than they are.
As I am writing this, the Cincinnati Reds have acquired Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians. The 49-55 Reds picked up a front of the rotation starter by trading away Yasiel Puig, a guy who is going to be a free agent at the end of the year! The Cardinals couldn’t beat that?
St. Louis has offered a variety of excuses from the practical “they wanted more than we were willing to give up” to the ridiculous “there was no one available better than what we already had.”
I think it’s ridiculous to count on deadline deals to complete your roster. In an era where two teams make the postseason as wild cards, everybody thinks they’re in the mix and they’re often unwilling to run up the white flag in front of their fans. Secondly, if the Cardinals are serious about building through their farm system, they’re not going to want to give away their jewels for a rental player. They could sign players over the winter and keep their youngsters. But we do this dance every season. And the song always ends the same way.
As I write this, there is still plenty of time for the Cardinals to make me look foolish by making a big splash. But I’m pretty confident they won’t. Instead, we’ll hear about how getting Marcel Ozuna and Matt Carpenter back is better than any trade the team could make, even though Carpenter is having trouble getting a hit off of Class AA pitchers right now.
Gone are the days of trading for Matt Holliday or Larry Walker. These days, the Birds pluck a guy off waivers and make a trade for a guy on his third team in the last year and we’re supposed to line up to buy playoff tickets?
It was almost cruel to have a ceremony last weekend to honor the 2004 Cardinals, complete with former GM Walt Jocketty in the house — the guy who traded JD Drew for a package that included Adam Wainwright, Ray King and Jason Marquis. Ah, I remember the days when the local team aimed a little bit higher than for low-hanging fruit.
That was back when players were overjoyed to be acquired by the Cardinals, to have a chance to get a World Series ring. Now the word is out that the Cardinals just want to be competitive enough to keep people buying tickets. And players are passing on a chance to sign with St. Louis like never before.