Cardinals unlikely to make big deal before deadline
ST. LOUIS -- Without getting into specifics about the club's pursuits as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, general manager John Mozeliak suggested on Thursday the Cardinals are unlikely to make any blockbuster-type deal between now and the end of the month.
"For me to sit here today and tell you specifically what we might try to add just doesn't make a lot of sense," Mozeliak said after the Cardinals' workout at Busch Stadium. "It's not a great market to be shopping in for our particular needs. And there is no glaring weakness now. It's just seeing if there is an incremental benefit that might make us stronger for a last push."
Adding to an offense that leads the league in several statistical categories is not among the priorities. The Cardinals see little opportunity to upgrade over the pieces already in place, and that includes shortstop, where the priority continues to be strong defensive play over any potency with the bat, as Daniel Descalso is hitting .275 with three homers and Pete Kozma is at .233 with one homer.
If the Cardinals are to add, it will likely be on the pitching side. In talking about the rotation, Mozeliak expressed satisfaction in the current starting core of Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller. Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha remain second-half rotation options, and Chris Carpenter -- who will make his second rehab start on Saturday -- remains a wild card in all of this.
"I think when you look at our rotation right now, it's hard to imagine any major change in what we're having," Mozeliak said. "I think we have to do our best to protect the younger arms, and I think we're going to space that out pretty well between now and September. But as far as feeling comfortable giving those guys the ball every fifth or sixth day, I think we're strong."
Though the bullpen has stabilized since April, the lack of experience is an area in which the Cardinals may look to improve. Each of the last two seasons, Mozeliak made key Trade Deadline deals to add an experienced reliever. That could be even more crucial this year, as the Cardinals currently have four rookie relievers in the 'pen.
Asked about pursuing a veteran reliever, Mozeliak said, "I think if we found the right piece, we'd pursue it."
Of course, any action comes at a cost, and the Cardinals do not see themselves as having such glaring holes that they would need to be desperate buyers. As a result, the organization is not interested in parting with its top Minor League prospects for a short-term fix.
"I think for us right now, we've left that very wide in terms of what we might chase," Mozeliak said. "Having said that, it starts to become what the ask might be and how we fulfill those. When I think about the next couple weeks, I think it's about us staying open-minded and us seeing how the market evolves."