July 15, 2008


With a little over two weeks left to the trade deadline, there still has been no indication that the St. Louis Cardinals are working on any potential deals.

The speculating public seems to be split on just what the Cards need more at this point.

There are two camps, with maybe an edge going to the one that desires to see a knock-out lefthanded closer added to the bullpen. Also high on the wish list, however, is an "impact" bat, as Tony La Russa described the minimum requirements should there be an addition made to the offense.

There is a lot of agreement on where this potential help will come from, though.

Mentioned players that fall into the category of (probably) expensive but "doable deals" are lefthanded reliever-closer Brian Fuentes and the talented stickman, Matt Holliday.

Since both would be asking far too much, the Cardinals--if indeed they are seriously investigating the possibility of pursuing either of these Rockies' standouts--will have to ante up in big bucks or decide if they will go against there oft-spoken sentiments concerning the building of a strong organization from within.

The "talk" was easy to spit out early on in the season when it was the bevy of call-ups that patched the parental roster. One has to admit the Redbirds have the appearance of a lovable blue-collar team driving repeatedly by the Arch in Family Truckster, forging along like a vehicle held together with baling wire and duct tape.

The "build from within" mission statement, now, however, may be obsolete.

Before, Cardinal Nation may have been figuring GM John Mozeliak was waiting to see how Mark Mulder would fare. Or possibly, if the offense could put together more than one rally per game. Add to these worries that the bullpen strategy seems to be who not to call upon.

Now, the Cardinals may be trying to decide, considering all of the above, whether they have a legitimate shot at the division.

As fans, we always believe there's a chance. No doubt La Russa thinks the same way; evidenced by the fact that he's been working his tail off with his coaching staff all season to turn the squad into a real contender, and keep them that way.

There's no harmful intent in addressing the Cardinals' current shortcomings, either. Realize that every team that's not in first place has them; otherwise, they'd be in first place.

Cardinal Nation needs to remember, however, that any trade the Cards make is a trade-off, and it's going to sting a lot if the "doable deal" requires the bartering of any or many Cardinals' players and/or prospects, Redbirds to whom we've all gotten pretty attached.

Trade? Don't trade? Trade? Don't trade? Try for Fuentes? Holliday? Or no one?

Eeny, meeny, miney...