|John Lackey — Jim Rogasch/Getty Images via ESPN|
Kelly's not more than a replacement-level pitcher, if he even is that right now, who probably never will be much more than that. Craig continues to slump worse by the week, it seems. Lackey could be even better in a pitching-friendly NL park. And, he's under control through next year, with an MLB-minimum contract. (That said, John Mozeliak might see about an extension of some sort; who knows.)
Meanwhile, Oscar Taveras gets his playing time and Cards fans who hate Mike Matheny may stop bitching. Or they may not, but that's another story.
And, if Craig gets healthier, or refinds his stroke, or whatever, maybe it is a win-win. If nothing else, he replaces Jonny Gomes, sent to the A's along with John Lester for Yoenis Cespedes.
And, with Lackey with the Cards for next year, too, Mozeliak can take his time next year in looking at the longer-term futures of Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez.
So this, unlike yesterday's trade for Justin Masterson (no, not Bat Masterson, not a real gunslinger) that led me to wonder "Is that all," I'm all in on this.
This makes the Cards look great for not only the rest of this year, but into the future, for at least one more year.
So, right now, for the rest of this year (setting aside the possibility of a Michael Wacha return this year) the Cards roll out Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Lackey, Miller and Masterson. I can certainly live with that.
Plus, the Post-Dispatch adds that the Cardinals get Corey Littrell, a low-minors lefty of moderate promise, back in the trade, too, and $1.5 million in dinero.