MLB Trade Rumors: St. Louis Cardinals Looking At Starters, Per Anonymous Source, Common Sense

The Heath Bell thing never quite did it for me, but this I can imagine—according to an anonymous source the St. Louis Cardinals have been extremely active in their search for a starting pitcher on the trade market ahead of the July 31 deadline. Question: Do you need to cite an anonymous source if the stuff he tells you would cause a 13-year-old girl in 1998 to go, "uhhh—doy!!!"? 

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The Cardinals' right-handed relief isn't exactly strong, but Fernando Salas looks like a capable closer and, with Ryan Franklin and Miguel Bautista out of the picture, the remaining righties are mostly young and interesting. But consider, also, that the Cardinals' best reliever last season is currently their fifth starter; Kyle McClellan probably doesn't want to move back to the bullpen after finally getting his shot at the rotation, but if he's really keen on the idea he should probably start pitching better. (His 4.4 strikeouts per nine innings are almost two and a half strikeouts per nine innings below the NL starter average, and with nearly three walks per nine he's not making up for it with Maddux-y stuff.) 

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With Kyle Lohse always a concern, Chris Carpenter looking great but still possessing Chris Carpenter's injury history, and Jake Westbrook struggling just as badly as McClellan, the Cardinals could use depth in the rotation even if they don't immediately return McClellan to his set-up role.

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But if they make a move, who are they willing to trade, and for what? Given John Mozeliak's reluctance to trade his top prospects, pitchers Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez, I'd imagine the Cardinals might have to take on salary if they want a pitcher who's clearly better than what they've got right now. 

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