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Ryan Dempster Rumors No Longer A Focus As St. Louis Cardinals' Pitching Stabilizes

For a while, there, trade rumors about the St. Louis Cardinals had begun to center around Ryan Dempster, the Chicago Cubs starter whose pending free agency and general cromulence suited an unstable Cardinals rotation just fine. Now, though, after solid outings from Jake Westbrook and Joe Kelly at the back of the rotation and a return to form from first-half rock Lance Lynn, it looks like the Cardinals' trade deadline focus will return to the bullpen.

And bullpen trades, of course, are a much more confusing story. Unless they go for the top-of-the-line model and pony up the prospects for Huston Street it's almost impossible to say just who or what they'll land on as the salve for their unstable relievers. The Houston Astros, under former Cardinals farm guru Jeff Luhnow, just unloaded both Brandon Lyon and Brett Myers without drawing interest from John Mozeliak, but since they're in the bullpen middle-class it's uncertain whether they were too poor or too rich for Mozeliak's blood.

(Though if they were too rich, I'm not sure what the Cardinals will be able to do besides signing more Brian Fuentes types.)