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Shortstop now the priority for St. Louis

Jul 29, 2011, 7:37 PM EDT

Ryan Theriot Getty Images

After addressing their rotation and the bullpen with Wednesday’s Colby Rasmus swap, the Cardinals are looking for shortstop help, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He hears that a move is likely and that it could be a “difference-maker.”

Of course, there isn’t really much for difference makers on the shortstop market.  Jose Reyes is unavailable.  Rafael Furcal is the big name, but he’s hitting .195 in 133 at-bats this season.

Shortstops thought to be available at the right price include Washington’s Ian Desmond, Houston’s Clint Barmes and Seattle’s Jack Wilson.  San Diego’s Jason Bartlett is better than that bunch, but it doesn’t appear that the Padres are at all eager to move him.

The Cardinals, though, could stand to do something.  They knew they were taking a hit defensively when they acquired Ryan Theriot to replace Brendan Ryan over the winter, but Theriot hasn’t made up for it with his bat, having hit just .263/.311/.320 in 353 at-bats.  Plus, the Cards are also struggling at second base and Theriot might be more useful there if a full-time shortstop is acquired.

So, let’s see what John Mozeliak can come up with.

Update: For what it’s worth, the Houston Chronicle’s Brian McTaggert is reporting that the Astros have told teams Barmes isn’t available.  Because when you’re cruising toward the worst record in the major leagues and you have a chance to keep a mediocre shortstop that’s going to a free agent at season’s end, you just have to do it.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    How about Lugo or is he a difference maker of the negative kind?

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      On a more serious note, I would look at Chicago. Starlin Castro is not likely to be traded, but as the White Sox are not a good team and are reducing their payroll, Alexi Ramirez might be available.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Lugo was a disaster in St. Louis in 2009. Just a bad idea all around.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:36 PM

        Lugo has been a disaster almost everywhere. He is a difference maker in a negative sense.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        Lugo hit .277/.351/.432 in 09 with STL

        Lugo is a disaster, but STL was the one place he WASN’T a disaster.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Not sure who’s in play besides Furcal although anything would help at this point…

  3. paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Now? NOW? NOW? Shortstop is the priority? What took so long?

    Bartlett is freaking horrible, he is just as bad offensively and nearly as bad defensively. If he is the “best of the bunch” that is a pathetic bunch.

    Desmond: 0.5 WAR
    Barmes: 2.1
    Furcal: -0.3
    Bartlett: 0.7

    None of those guys is in the same area code as “difference maker”….and if getting one of these guys to play SS for this average team means giving up one of their top 10 prospects, it is going to be a bad move.

    LaRussa already screwed up twice by forcing out Ryan (who has the 11th best WAR among all MLB SS right now) and wanting the scraptastic Erriot….now they are going to compound those mistakes by making another one? And this on the heals of giving away Rasmus because LaRussa failed to in his job as manager/coach with respect to their best position prospect in 10 yrs? Ugh^12.

  4. paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    I’m sorry, but ANY manager that hits Corey Patterson and his .292 lifetime OBP in the leadoff spot does not understand even the most basic concepts about how offensive plays lead to scoring runs.

    • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      sorry about the hanging tag

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:33 PM

        ugh

    • spudchukar - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      Hanley Ramirez with Birds on the Bat would be the “difference maker”.

    • theolgoaler - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM

      Patterson had an impressive record against the Cubs’ Matt Garza; DON’T look for him at leadoff against anybody else.

  5. micker716 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    The Padres aren’t “all that eager” to move Bartlett? Throw in a bag of balls and we’ll give you Hudson, too.

  6. theolgoaler - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    SHEESH! Did that work to get out of boldface?

  7. gabrielthursday - Jul 30, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Is it ridiculous to think that there have to be some backup shortstops that could do a better job than Theriot for St. Louis and Betancourt for Milwaukee? John McDonald, despite the fact he has a 52 wRC+ has a positive WAR, by virtue of playing good defence. When you have below-replacement players, shouldn’t it be by definition easy to find better options?

  8. thefalcon123 - Jul 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Seattle’s sucks, I wonder if the Cardinals could nab their shortstop? He has a 90 OPS, but a slick glove and a 2.3 WAR this season. What’s stopping us from getting that guy?

    • okwhitefalcon - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      Well, that’s one way to insure Albert not resigning, I’m fairly certain he along with the entire Cardinals clubhouse would mutiny if Spazmatic (aka, the Seattle shortstop) were to darken the
      the doorways..again..

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