24 hours after the St. Louis Cardinals' worrying trade of Colby Rasmus, word has gotten out that they're still interested in trading for even more replaceable veteran free agents: They're still in on Heath Bell, according to Joe Strauss, who seems to suggest the Cardinals might trade one of their best relievers--who is still free and under team control--to pick up their white whale of a closer.
The Rasmus trade can be defended, as terrible a defense as it is; I find it impossible to mount a defense for trading Heath Bell for Jason Motte. In addition to minimizing how much better the bullpen gets, by replacing one of its best relievers with a slightly better reliever, they also do even more to damage their 2012 and 2013 prospects, a day after dropping their top young pre-free-agent for a guy who's a free agent after 2011. Rasmus can be blamed on Tony La Russa, who turned a toxic situation positively poisonous with his late-night comments. But if a Heath Bell trade gets made at this point, with Kyle McClellan and Octavio Dotel in the bullpen at a great cost, John Mozeliak is just making a terrible decision.