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Rumor mill: Cardinals close to deal for Cleveland first baseman Brandon Moss

According to an ESPN report, the St. Louis Cardinals are on the verge of landing their replacement first baseman.

The report said the Redbirds are close to a swap that would send lefty pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky to the Cleveland Indians for first baseman and outfielder Brandon Moss.

St. Louis is in need of a slugging first baseman because the guy who started the season at that spot, Matt Adams, tore a quadriceps muscle and is expected to be out at least until near the end of the season. Lately Adams has begun some workouts, fueling speculation that he’ll be back in time for the playoffs. But the Cardinals have seen their Central Division lead dwindle to 4 1/2 games after being shut out in consecutive games against the Cincinnati Reds.

Kaminsky, 20, is 6-5 with a 2.09 ERA for High A Palm Beach. He is rated as St. Louis’ number three prospect.

Moss, 31, is a lefty swinger who is batting .217 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs. He has a .288 on-base percentage and 106 strikeouts vs. 32 walks in 375 plate appearances.

It definitely wouldn’t be as flashy a deal as a trade for Milwaukee’s Adam Lind. But, while the Cardinals have been linked to Lind this week, reports suggest the Brewers were leaning toward keeping their slugging first baseman.

I’m not sure why the Birds would want to deal with Cleveland. The last couple of times haven’t worked out very well.

Last season, St. Louis sent outfield prospect James Ramsey to the Tribe in exchange for pitcher Justin Masterson. The later was 3-3 with a 5.63 ERA in six starts before being shelved.

In 2009 swap with Cleveland landed “supersub” Mark DeRosa - who immediately got hurt and underperformed for his stay in St. Louis. He batted .228 in 262 plate appearances.

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