Adam Wainwright turn the page on his 34th year. Declared it was just a bad year. Celebrated the beginning of his 35th year by going 7 innings and only giving up one run. The bullpen barely hung on. The offense failed to show up. Cardinals hitters accumulated 15 strikeouts. No worries. Cards hand the Crew their 6th loss in a row. Winning their 40th road game 2-1 over the Crew. Good bounce back for Waino. Impressive.
Today, is the final day for Mozeliak, to add a player for the postseason roster. Lots of names have cleared waivers. Browsing the list, no one name jumps off that would be a good fit for the Cardinals.
MLB Rumors list 13 players that are known to have cleared waivers. It is amazing how many of the bad contract players, are on teams that are still contending for a wild card. So to expect any trades is a remote possibility. With all the money in baseball the old days of teams dumping players just to save a million dollars are over. Now teams are looking to dump under performing players with millions left and 2-5 years of guaranteed money left on the deals.
This would mean that teams would have to eat some money in order to make a deal. At the August deadline this would be unlikely. Most teams will try to deal bad contracts for bad contracts in the offseason. Minimizing the amount of cash they have to throw in.
MLB Rumors breaks it down:
Before diving into the names, a few items bear repeating. The majority of Major League players will be placed on trade waivers this month, with most instances going unreported. There are undoubtedly players (quite a few of them, most likely) who have already cleared waivers but have not been reported to have done so. Players can be traded into September, as well, but only those traded on or before Aug. 31 will be eligible for the postseason with their new teams, so there’s some urgency for contending clubs to complete deals by month’s end. And, of course, for those who aren’t familiar with the inner-workings of waiver trades, MLBTR published a full explanation of how August trades work earlier this month. Onto the known names…
- Eric O’Flaherty (link): Once a powerhouse out of the Braves’ bullpen, O’Flaherty’s second stint with Atlanta hasn’t gone nearly as well. He’s never fully regained his form after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013, and his ERA in 2016 rested just shy of 7.00 when word of his clearing waivers broke. His $1.75MM salary wouldn’t be prohibitive were he pitching well, but even opposing lefties have roughed up O’Flaherty this season, and he’s been positively obliterated by right-handed opponents.
- Kurt Suzuki (link): The Twins’ catcher was reported to have cleared waivers just yesterday. Unlike a number of players that clear waivers in the month of August, Suzuki is relatively affordable, making it something of a surprise that no teams placed a claim on him. While he’s not regarded as a highly skilled defensive backstop, he’s hitting .281/.321/.431, which is quite a step up from the league-average catcher (.242/.311/.380). He doesn’t walk much, but he’s also very tough to strike out (12.9%), and he was owed just $1.54MM through season’s end when he reportedly cleared on Aug. 16.
Believe it or not. These are the only names that jump off the list that even remotely look like a possible fit for the Cardinals. I still think Suzuki will end up on the Giants. They need another backup catcher.
The other item is that Mozeliak seems to no longer be in the market for rental players. Smart. Looks like Mozeliak only willing to do deals that return at least one year of control after this season. Smart.
The other issue is that even if a team snuck a good player through waivers. They would be looking for a haul in return for that player. Not the way to do business in the modern game.
Between now and the beginning of next season. The biggest need for the Cardinals would be to find an above average 3rd baseman. Someone that could be a contributor on offense and a better defender than Gyorko, Carpenter and Peralta.
It would be great if the Cards could find a prospect that is blocked from the majors by another player on his team. With at least the possibility of an upside. But, because most 3rd baseman can play 1st and one of the corner outfield spots. That is going to be a reach.
All this leads to the deadline. Is there a team looking to dump a 3rd baseman who use to be something that is just not a fit on their team. Yes, there is. Pablo Sandoval.
The Panda is owed $18MM per for the next 3 years. The Red Sox don’t want the Panda back. Dumping Sandoval is not a reach. The question is would the Red Sox be motivated enough to eat half the contract and dump him. I doubt it.
The Red Sox are looking for some outfield help. With Benintendi injured and still a question mark for the post season. The rumor is they put in a claim on Puig. They could make a deal with Dodgers. But, that would cost a lot in prospects.
So here is the fantasy trade. Mozeliak tells Holliday he is not going to be on the postseason roster. Holliday waves his no trade. Red Sox trade the Panda for Holliday and toss in some cash.
I realize, total BS. But, I don’t see Mozeliak being able to find bullpen help today. All the contenders are looking for that. This is the only thing I could come up with. Would be surprised if Mozeliak makes any deal. Don’t think one player is going to make any difference on the this current group of Cardinals. See Duke.
The Cards are only 1 game behind the Giants for the first wild card.
Thanks to the Cubs, the Cards have a 2.5 game lead over the Pirates and Fish for the second wild card.
Luke Weaver up next. Offense needs to show back up and help Luke out. Should be an entertaining watch. Always like to see the rookies play.