Cards could be open to trading Norris, J. Martinez

July 30th, 2018

ST. LOUIS -- Though he didn't want to handicap the chances of the Cardinals executing another deal ahead of Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, general manager Michael Girsch said Sunday that the organization is "still exploring things" that will forward the club's plans to reconstruct its roster.

"If we can get something that we think makes sense, we're not done," Girsch said. "We're looking at things that help us as an organization beyond just this year. We hope they help us this year, as well. But we're looking at it with a long-term [lens]."

With attention turned to the future, the Cardinals have made clubs aware they'd be willing to listen to offers for pending free agent . Norris, who signed a Minor League deal with the Cards in February, broke camp with the big league club and quickly slid into the closer's role. He entered Sunday with 20 saves and a 3.14 ERA.

This isn't unfamiliar territory for the veteran right-hander, who has been dealt at the Deadline before. That came back in 2013, when Houston flipped him to Baltimore as part of a three-player trade.

"Luckily enough, I've been through it a little bit," Norris said. "I've been on both sides of the coin where I've stayed and where I've been shipped. I love this clubhouse. This is where I want to be personally. It's about winning games, and that's what we're doing right now. We're making the decisions upstairs pretty hard."

Another trade asset

The Cardinals, as they showed with Saturday's trade, are in a position to deal more than players as they seek to utilize the non-waiver Trade Deadline as an opportunity to revamp the roster. Though the Cards have $5 million in bonus pool money to use during the 2018-19 international signing period, they are in a penalty period where the club is prohibited from giving a player a signing bonus in excess of $300,000.

That leaves the organization with plenty of unspent money, which it is willing to use in a trade. The Cardinals did so Saturday by sending $1 million to the Yankees to complete a trade for and .

The Yankees are one of several clubs that have inquired about the availability of the Cardinals' international cap space, and the Cards haven't ruled out dealing more.

"Because of our limitations," Girsch said, "it makes sense for us to move some of it."

Worth noting

remains on schedule to come off the 10-day disabled list and start Monday. When that happens, the Cardinals will need to make a corresponding roster move to clear a spot for Martinez.

, who jammed an ankle sliding into third base Saturday, was scratched from Sunday's starting lineup for precautionary reasons. Interim manager Mike Shildt said he expected Martinez to be available off the bench. Martinez's removal offered an opportunity for to return to the lineup for the first time since battling dizziness.

• The Cardinals confirmed the passing of former outfielder, coach and Minor League manager Johnny Lewis at the age of 78 on Sunday. Lewis played in 40 games for the 1964 World Series champion Cards as part of a four-year Major League career. He went on to coach for the Cardinals from 1973-76 and 1984-89. Lewis also managed two seasons for the Cards' Rookie-level affiliate.