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Why Shelby Miller Shouldn't Be Traded For Cliff Lee, In One Blockquote

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At the Post-Dispatch, Derrick Goold explains with depth charts why it was so much easier to trade Brett Wallace than it would be Shelby Miller. For Wallace:

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3B: Brett Wallace -- David Freese* -- Allen Craig (though he's an OF) -- Matt Carpenter (just drafted) -- way down, Roberto de la Cruz (high-bonus int'l signing)

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1B: Albert Pujols

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And then for Shelby Miller, in the category Goold describes as "Josh Beckett types", "high caliber" starting pitchers:

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Shelby Miller

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Um...

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That's exactly the problem. It would be almost cruelly fascinating to see Cliff Lee or even long-lost Dan Haren in the same rotation as Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Jaime Garcia, but Shelby Miller is valuable for a reason—he's a chance to get a Haren-caliber pitcher for team-control salaries for several years, instead of paying market value for another one in 2014, when the Cardinals again find themselves a starter short in July or November.

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Trading Shelby Miller is getting back on the big transaction treadmill; drafting Shelby Miller was an attempt to get off it. It's hard to watch the Cardinals deal with Suppan and Hawksworth now, but this back-of-the-rotation austerity has a purpose—it's to make sure it doesn't happen again. 

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