The trade deadline has come and gone and, as expected, the St. Louis Cardinals made some major changes. Given the market, I think John Mozeliak did exceedingly well with what he had to work with. Last week I took a drive with my father over to Springfield, Illinois and we discussed a lot of baseball. One of the things I mentioned was that the offensive market didn’t have much to offer, that Mozeliak would probably go after pitching depth, and he’d trade Allen Craig as a part of the deal. Yesterday, that theory became a reality. Now, I considered Allen Craig and Joe Kelly a part of our St. Louis family, and it hurts to see them go, but in reality, this is baseball. Players come and go and as much as we love them or hate them, it’s all about winning, not family.
I hear a lot of rumblings from folks about how unhappy they are with the way things worked out with the Redbirds. The Cardinals have a struggling offense and pitching staff. There really was no market for offense this year. However, we do have some promising offensive prospects. There was a market for pitching, but with a struggling offense, who can you trade to land a big pitcher? It’s all about the math, folks. You trade your surplus to get what you need. With the recent moves, there is no longer a surplus. The best thing to do in a situation like this is trade someone like Craig, who has some trade value because he may find his swing again. That way, you make room for someone like Oscar Taveras to play a bigger role on offense, and try to get the best pitcher you can with what you have to offer. John Lackey can eat up some innings– more than Joe Kelly– and the team needs that. The same thing with Justin Masterson. Michael Wacha will return, and when he does, the pitching staff will be more leveled out.
Oscar Taveras may not have the numbers at the moment to show his promise, but I’m confident that he will. Given a bigger role in the big leagues will give him the experience he needs to grow as a player. Like I said, I hate to see Craig go, but I think if we give it time we’ll see that Taveras will earn his spot and Craig will be nothing more than a player we have fond memories of.
When I heard the Cardinals obtained free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, I wasn’t too happy about it. The more I look at this move, though, the more I like it. We didn’t lose anything bringing him here. Bringing Pierzynski in gave the Cardinals the ability to designate George Kottaras for assignment and add some real competition at the catcher position until Yadier Molina can return. Pierzynski just may help to spark some more offense and help lead the team in a better direction.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but I put a lot of trust in Mozeliak. He has led this team to greatness, both for the fans and the players. If you hate the moves he’s made over the last couple of weeks, give it time. I believe you’ll come around. I’m confident that he made the right moves to keep us heading in the right direction. The pillars of success for the Redbirds will undoubtedly remain intact for years to come. There is a reason why people call our home baseball heaven.