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Cardinals Trade Deadline Discussion Begins... Now

After making their most daring post-Jocketty trade yet as last year's deadline loomed you’d be forgiven for thinking the 2010 Cardinals wouldn’t be spending a lot of time in the trade market, where Walt famously (and, for the most part, successfully) gambled away the Cardinals’ cheap youngsters on readymade vets. But as Viva El Birdos’s the red baron writes, with Cincinnati in the race later than expected, the team remains buyers now as ever—

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St. Louis Cardinals — Since this is a Cardinal blog, I figured we may as well begin here. The Cards currently find themselves in a dogfight atop the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds, and it doesn’t look as if either team is going to go away all that soon. That said, the Cards are still very much one of the top teams in the National League; they’ve underperformed their Pythagorean record and have the best record in the NL looking at third-order wins. Put simply, the Cards are most definitely in, and they’ll be looking to improve the team as the summer goes on.

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Needs — The Cards’ middle infield has been absolutely dreadful, even with Felipe Lopez providing solid offense on a nightly basis. The braintrust seems to still have faith in both Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumaker, but I wonder if that would preclude the acquisition of an upgrade in the middle of the diamond. (And no, Aaron Miles does not count as an upgrade.) The timetables on both Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse remain hazy; another starter could be a definite possiblity.

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While Jeff Suppan has earned another start and yet more La Russa/Duncan admiration following his daringly adequate comeback start last night, any setback from the Cardinals’ two enigmatic fourth starters seems like the most likely excuse for John Mozeliak to send Memphis’s best to a team that’s employing Kevin Millwood or Jake Westbrook.