Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Redbirds redux?

A trade between the Padres and Cardinals this month would be the second between the two general managers, who partnered last summer on the three-team deadline deal that brought Ryan Ludwick to San Diego and enabled St. Louis to land Indians starting pitcher Jake Westbrook. If GMs Jed Hoyer and John Mozeliak dance together again, it is closer Heath Bell who likely would pack his bags for St. Louis, but a National League executive from outside the West says he "wouldn't get overly excited about" that happening.


"The Cardinals have two stud pitchers in their system -- Carlos Martinez and Shelby Miller -- and I don't see any scenario in which the Cardinals trade them," the exec said. "Then, there's a huge dropoff (in prospects) after that."

The exec said Cardinals pitching prospect Joe Kelly "is an interesting arm" and that Oscar Taveras, a Single-A outfielder with a .401 on-base percentage, "is an interesting guy who may be a fit."

Rick Hummel, longtime Cardinals writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, told this blog in May that Bell would excite the Redbirds, whose closer, Ryan Franklin, had lost the job. "I'd heard that they had interest but they couldn't match up on the players -- but that doesn't mean they've given up," Hummel said today. Young closer Fernando Salas, 16-for-17 in save attempts to go with a 2.25 ERA, could allow the Cardinals to spend their trade chips elsewhere, and their starting rotation, Hummel said, may be a greater need than the bullpen.

Hummel also suggested that former Cardinals shortstop Tyler Greene, now in Triple-A, might interest potential traders as a change-of-scenery value, given that Greene and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa appear incompatible. Greene has excellent footspeed, a strong arm and decent power. He also has played second base and third.

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