Let’s Make A Deal

Cardinal fans and players alike know and understand the time period right after the All Star break perhaps more than most. In my time as a Cardinal fan this has always been an exciting and anxious time. That is mainly because the Cardinals have always been active participants in the rumor mill and trade deadline. Walt Jocketty created master pieces this time of year and John Mozeliak is creating quite a reputation for himself as well.

Believe it or not the trade deadline actually affects more than just the fans. I know…the realization blew my mind too. Apparently it actually has quite an impact on the players as well. And not just a fleeting thought here and there but it can actually creep into their psyche and linger as the deadline approaches. Of course it affects different players in different ways. Your Albert Pujols’, Matt Holliday’s and Yadier Molina’s of the world, we will call them Group A, approach the trade deadline much differently than say, Group B, your Skip Schumaker’s, Jon Jay’s, Alan Craig’s and even Colby Rasmus’s do this time of year.

The reasoning behind the different approaches is that Group A watches excitedly as they wait to see what is or will be taking place to strengthen the team around them with the end result being a run at a World Series. All the while Group B sits patiently, or anxiously and nervously, around waiting to see if they will be one of the chips in a deal made to strengthen the team around Group A. Again with the end result being a run at World Series, of course for the players in Group A.

Rarely do the Cardinals stand pat at this time of year. Granted some moves in some years are more reserved than others. See Ryan Ludwick for Jake Westbrook last season as compared to Brett Wallace and Co. for Matt Holliday in 2009. By the same token, some trades are less impactful and not as well received by Cardinal Nation as others. See exact same trades above.

Since 2000, a few of the notable names to come to the Cardinals mid-season (and make an impact) are Jeff Weaver, Scott Rolen, Matt Holiday, Julio Lugo, Chuck Finley, and who can forget the moves for Larry Walker, Woody Williams and Will Clark. Unfortunately for every name listed above there has been a Mike Maroth, Mark DeRosa, Jake Westbrook, Pedro Feliz and who can forget the dynamic trade in 2003 for Esteban Yan.

More often than not, however, the Cardinals have come out on top during the trade deadline. To be honest, more often than not the Cardinals, specifically Jocketty, downright stole an impact player for a pennant chase. Everyone remembers Ray Lankford for Woody Williams…yeah you do. Walt left big shoes behind for Mozeliak to fill and thus far Mo has done an admirable job. Matt Holliday coming to town in 2009 should have made the difference. The Cardinals choking it away to the Dodgers was not Mo’s fault.

Whether it has been Walt or Mo a deal always seem to get done. And I see no reason why the next two weeks of 2011 will be any different for this Cardinals team. The only question that remains is; who from Group B will still be here and how will that impact the World Series run for Group A?

As usual these are just my thoughts…keep on reading and you’ll get up to speed.

Follow me on Twitter @SportsbyWeeze or check out my thoughts on the Rams at RamsHerd.com

2 thoughts on “Let’s Make A Deal

  1. Great article. Loved the picture, it really caught my attention, humm. Can’t wait to see next weeks.

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