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Cardinals seeking trade partner for Kyle McClellan

Jan 29, 2012, 4:09 PM EDT

mcclellan getty Getty Images

From Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that the Cardinals are “actively shopping” right-hander Kyle McClellan in an effort to free up payroll for a run at a free agent starter.

Like, well, Roy Oswalt.

McClellan, a 27-year-old native of the north St. Louis suburbs, registered a 4.19 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 76/43 K/BB ratio across 141 2/3 innings last season for the Cardinals, operating as both a starter and reliever. He’s owed a $2.5 million salary this season as a second-year arbitration-eligible player.

Strauss is hearing from sources that the Orioles have emerged as “one of the most promising trade partners.”

  1. okwhitefalcon - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Not quite sure what kind of value K-Mac has beyond a low level prospect, obviously an addition by subtraction move as noted above.

    The sooner the better one must think, seems like the Oswalt market is heating up and the window of opportunity to aquire maybe closing quickly.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      The more room for Lance Lynn in the pen, the better.

  2. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Sigh, why on earth did we resign this guy? I’m so confused.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      They resigned him to avoid arbitration.

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        which they shouldn’t have offered in the first place. The system is chock full of potential relievers that are both better and cheaper than McClellan

      • okwhitefalcon - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        I was thinking the same thing although I’m not sure if they trust anyone in the system beyond Lance Lynn to fill a right handed swingman role that K-Mac fits.

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        Yeah, I think they thought they were playing it safe….but McClellan is the worst and highest paid reliever on the team….I think they also were hoping they could trade off Lohse or Westbrook and get someone to eat 1/2 or more of their salary…which didn’t happen….so they finally turned to trading McClellan. If the salary is the important thing…they can probably just waive him outright and someone will pick him up.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jan 29, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        I think that’s a very viable scenario, not sure why it took them this long to figure out moving Westbrook or Lohse wasn’t going to happen though – that seemed extremely unlikely as far back as the winter meetings.

  3. pisano - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I’m sure if the Cards talk real nice to the Yankees they might part with AJ Burnett, but they’d have to be real nice to get AJ, he’s in such demand, not.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      As a Jays fan, I prefer that A. J. be forced to honor his contract in New York.

    • jwbiii - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:51 AM

      Let’s take a moment to consider your proposal. Over the next two years, Burnett is due $33M and McClellan is due $2.5M plus another year of arbitration, let’s call it $6M for the two years. So Burnett + $27M for McClellan would be an equitable trade if they were pitchers of similar abilities. They are not. McClellan is better, so the Yankees would have to throw in a prospect. So McClellan for Burnett, $27M, and Gary Sanchez might work. Make that call, Cashman, make that call.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Why would the Orioles be interested? He didn’t do well in the NL Central- why would they think he’d fare well in the AL East?

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      He provides a low cost pitching solution for the Orioles that can be utilized as either a starter or reliever.

      That kind of flexibility has value in any division.

      • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jan 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        He has value particularly if you don’t care about winning or losing.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jan 29, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Well, it’s the Orioles we’re talking about here.

        Whacky trades, goofy signings and roster mismanagement have had greater value than winning and losing with them for quite some time now.

    • crisisjunky - Jan 29, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Jonathan Schoop or Givens are both decent SS prospects, with Manny Machado in front.
      I’m sure moze can wratchet one of these guys out of the O’s for Mclellan.

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 7:58 PM

        If they could get either of those guys for McClellan that would be fantastic….don’t see it happening.

      • atworkident - Jan 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        Givens maybe. Schoop is their top second base prospect. Someone on MLB.com listed him as the second best 2B prospect.

  5. baseballisboring - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Every time I see a pitcher become available I always think “Maybe the Red Sox will get him!”

    I think that’s called PTSD.

  6. spudchukar - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    McClellan has been a very effective reliever for St. Louis. He has a variety of pitches, is effective against left-handers, and is capable of pitching multiple innings if needed.

    Last year, he was thrust into the starter role, one he cherished, when Wainwright went down. He was effective early, and was instrumental in keeping the Cards in contention in the first few months. Not surprisingly, his increased work load proved to be harmful. He injured his hip, and dealt with arm weariness, in the second half, his only unproductive period in his St. Louis career.

    It is true St. Louis is blessed with multiple right-handed relief options, which makes McClellan expendable. But it is unfair to him to somehow cast him in the light I read above. I am not sure he still isn’t a better option than Boggs, whose inconsistency is a concern.

    Both pitchers are 27, with futures that look favorable. Would I move either in order to acquire Oswalt. Yes, but neither really make big bucks, so the rationale seems phony. They should receive someone of equal ability, and not view either option as a salary dump.

    Last time I checked the Cards were supposed to have around $8 mil in available “re-allocation” funds, so the financial need comes across as an excuse. To me a better option would be to just sign Oswalt, go to Spring Training with everyone, see what develops and move on from there. When Lohse and/or Westbrook (the most likely candidate) see their roles diminished, then they may see that waiving their no-trade clauses would be to their best interest. Hey, a six-man rotation wouldn’t be the worst idea either.

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