To answer this question one must first complete the question. Enough to win the NL Central? Enough to Win the NL? Enough to win the World Series? And even, enough to win the Wild Card? The answer to all four questions is NO. It is way too little and way too late.
The trade deadline is there to strengthen title contenders and help those out of the pennant race reload. It is not there to make mediocre teams just a bit less mediocre. I am sorry to break it to Cardinal Nation but that is what this team is and that is all that was accomplished with this year’s moves. The deal was big, but big deceptive, not big productive. I liken it to a child moving food all around his plate to give his parents the appearance he is eating.
Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson, Octavio Dotel, Rafael Furcal and Marc Rzepczynski are all fine players. Fine being used in the loosest sense of the word. The issue is, save Rzepczynski, the rest of this group was best equipped for a pennant run in 2007. John Mozeliak deserves credit for not standing pat. The pressure is on to prove to both Cardinal fans and more importantly Albert Pujols that the team will do whatever is needed to win. A for effort…unfortunately C for results.
The moves made at the trade deadline by Cardinal management were nothing more than attempt to save face and undo poor decisions that were made before a game was played. The moves that should have been made, the real moves. Needed to take place back in January or February. It was then that Cardinal brass made the decision to go for offense over defense. I think everyone can agree that approach has become a horrible failure.
It started out great. A few games were lost here and there but Theriot and others were hitting well and everyone thought it would all balance out in the end. Problem is it did balance out, just the wrong way. Berkman stopped hitting .400 and Theriot is back under .270. Had Furcal’s glove come over in May maybe things would have been different. Had Dotel replaced Franklin by June…who knows. Had there been an actual backup plan in place for inevitable walls that would be hit by Lohse, Westbrook and McClellan. Well, you get the idea, things may have been different.
One had to do no more than watch Monday night’s game or Tuesday’s 5th inning to see how poor defense and a worn down staff can impact a game and a season. Edwin Jackson is a nice #3 or #4 but that still leaves two SP spots that need attending to. I like the moves for what they are, an upgrade over what they have. But to say the Cardinals are “going all in to win it all now”, as many local scribes have stated is ludicrous.
Is the team better than it was a month ago? Maybe. Were the Cardinals contenders then? No. And I am sorry but these moves did nothing to change that. Patterson will be gone after the season, as will Dotel, Furcal and most likely Jackson. The real question, the real motive behind the trades is this. Are they enough to stop Pujols from leaving?…
These are just my thoughts…keep on reading and you’ll get up to speed.
Derek is on Twitter @SportsbyWeeze and also writes for the Rams at RamsHerd.com
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