Cheap Seats

Sometimes the trade deadline is more about what you kept than what you got

I’m surprised more than a little bit by St. Louis Cardinals fans’ harsh reactions to the club’s moves at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Did the team set the world on fire with its scintillating moves? No.

But what was general manager John Mozeliak supposed to do?

The Cardinals front office was in a bad spot because the only way to go is down. The Redbirds are in first place not only in their division. They have the best record in baseball.

That would be great -- if not for the fact that the team has started to show some cracks in its foundation thanks to injuries.

First baseman and cleanup hitter Matt Adams is expected to be out for the year with a leg injury. Third-place hitter and left fielder Matt Holliday missed a month because of a similar injury. Then, after being back for a couple of weeks, he had a relapse.

Meanwhile, starter Jaime Garcia made us all nervous with a groin strain that kept him out a month and reliever Jordan Walden (does anyone remember he is still on the team?) is having a hard time making it back from an arm injury that he suffered a month into the season.

So there were needs. Cardinals fans knew there are needs. The Cardinals front office knew there were needs. And every other team in baseball knew there were needs. Subsequently, prices for hitters were sky high.

So, yes, Brandon Moss and his .217 average aren’t going to change the world. Like many, I was disappointed to see the Redbirds trade a highly-touted first-round draft choice to get Moss. But these things don’t happen in a vacuum.

According to reports, Mozeliak was told by the Milwaukee Brewers that first baseman and slugger Adam Lind -- perhaps the ideal player to fill the hole in the middle of the St. Louis batting order -- was going to cost the club top prospect Alex Reyes.

Is it any wonder Mozeliak said “no sale?”

Still the social media critics are disappointed that the team couldn’t deal much maligned reserve infielder Pete Kozma for Miggy Cabrera.

Every once in a while, GMs pull off Brock for Broglio or Edmonds for Bottenfield and Kennedy. But those deals occur once in a blue moon. And not when the competition sees your wish list coming.

I, too, wish the Birds could have added some better pieces at the deadline. But not at the cost of the future.

This is a team built to last. You can’t throw that all away on one chance to win. So, while it might be painful, Mozeliak did the right thing.