Cardinals’ needs still coming into focus
The Cardinals have positioned themselves to be buyers at the Trade Deadline, but what remains unclear is how much they’re actually going to buy. The club held the Majors’ best record for much of the first half, and that was largely the result of stellar starting pitching. The rotation, however, has collectively dipped over the past four weeks, leading some to speculate that the Cardinals could go after a starter to fortify that rotation.
General manager John Mozeliak, at least publicly, has said that the Cardinals have not yet determined if this is a critical need. Cost of acquisition will play a role in whether the organization decides to pursue a starter. The Cardinals have adopted a model in which they place high value on their own internal talent, and parting with top prospects is not a route the Cardinals plan to go. Chris Carpenter, who remains on the comeback trail, is one of the wild cards in play. The Cardinals may also see their own internal starting options — Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Tyler Lyons — as sufficient to fill any hole.
The Cardinals’ bullpen has evolved from a weakness to a strength, though the Cardinals may decide to add another veteran arm to a largely inexperienced ‘pen. The move to bring in Edward Mujica last July was key in getting the club to the postseason.
On the offensive end, the only glaring hole is at shortstop, where the Cardinals would be looking for more than a short-term stopgap. With questions about how Pete Kozma can fit at the position beyond this year, the Cardinals could use this deadline to address a present and future issue.
- Jenifer Langosch