The strange thing about MLB trade rumors when they reach the talented-but-not-quite-there teams like the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals is that a lot of peoples' immediate solutions involve trading one of the best players on that team for some other player, as though patching one hole is worthwhile when it involves opening another. In that tradition the Cardinals are reportedly shopping Colby Rasmus, or else journalists reportedly think they oughtta be.â†µ
In the more traditional sense, the Cardinals have not yet tipped their hand: Would they be willing to trade top prospects Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez, recently listed among the top 10 prospects in baseball, for pitching help?
The answer, anticlimactically and reassuringly, is probably not, if I had to guess, and not for nothing. The last top prospect the Cardinals traded, Brett Wallace, was without a position in St. Louis and not nearly as well-regarded, and he went to the Athletics only for Matt Holliday, whom the Cardinals had long-term interest in. Unless they plan on stunning baseball with that kind of move again, trading any of their crown pitching jewels would be fly-swatting their lefty-specialist problem with a cost-prohibitive jackhammer.