July 30, 2013

#Cardinals make small pre-deadline move

The Birds have traded LOOGY Marc Rzepczynski for a lower-level shortstop with promise, Juan Herrera of the Tribe's farm system.

 Rzep, a minor hero of the Cardinals' 2001 drive to the postseason, had basically lost it this year. He'd been optioned to Memphis, of course, then showed in the last week that his AAA time had all been for naught.

Herrera's still at the A level, so, no, he's not taking Pete Kozma's job.

Since the allegedly strong-gloved Kozma has made two errors in this week, one wonders if they're still buyers at shortstop. Alexei Ramirez seems one of three only "likelies" or even "possibles,"and I wouldn't overvalue him.

Elvis Andrus has backslid offensively this year, and the Rangers probably want too much.

Erick Aybar from the Angels is more intriguing. Relatively cheap, Kozma's equal with the glove, and a moderate (more than modest, I think) upgrade with the bat. He's certainly the best of these three trade options offensively. And, until this year, I would have put him in roughly the same defensive category as Ramirez, but his range has slumped this year.

I woudn't have thought of Aybar until this weekend and the Angels' "openness" was mentioned. He's definitely the best financial option, signed for a reasonable number of years at a relatively low price. Andrus' contract looks more and more like an albatross.

Meanwhile, the Cards are reportedly kicking the tires on him. I say kick away. I'm not offering one of the top young-gun starters, but maybe another.

Jimmy Rollins has already exercised his no-trade rights, so he's out.

Herrera is not listed as a top-30 prospect by the Indians. So, he's not likely to get a 40-man invite next spring, though he could the year after that.

On the Cards' side, as a friend of mine noted, this means the team is comfortable with Kevin Siegrist and Randy Choate, at opposite ends of the age scale, doing the LOOGY work.

On the Indians' side, it shows a team desperate for anything in the LOOGY world; a look at the Cleveland lineup tells you why.

There's still almost 24 hours left, but it could be that this is it.

And, there's no need to panic if the team doesn't make more trades. The Cards still have more depth than the Pirates, and the Reds just seem to be missing some sort of spark right now.

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