Contender Marketplace Part 10 NL Central Rivals

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Peter Christian, David K. & Soxman break down what each MLB contender needs to make the play-offs
 

Trade Rumors begin to heat up as the MLB trade deadline approaches.  The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 31. Until then teams may trade players freely without having to go through the waiver process.
 

Milwaukee Brewers –
Brewer GM Doug Melvin already landed the trading season’s biggest prize in CC Sabathia, which has paid off immediate dividends. However that didn’t mean Melvin was done. He also traded for a veteran backup to the slump prone Rickie Weeks (Ray Durham) and recently signed Jay Gibbons who has been out of baseball since he was mentioned in the Mitchell report as an alleged steroid user. The Brewers willingness to go out and make changes in an effort to make the play-offs for the first time since 1982 proves to both the players and the fans that this team is committed to one thing: Winning the World Series. While Bill Hall has been swinging a good bat lately, he has been mentioned all season long as being movable and might be bait to go out and get a reliable closer (the Crew’s most glaring need). Outside of some late inning help the Brewers are in a good spot for the playoffs. They have very good hitting and defense on the bench to go along with a starting lineup that is one of the most powerful in the bigs. If the Twins had a reliever that could be an effective closer they would be an ideal trade partner to get rid of Bill Hall.
–Peter Christian
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 I don’t see the Crew dealing Hall unless they get an everyday third baseman to replace him.  Russell Branyan is not an everyday player at third.  Sorry.  The bullpen is the biggest question mark in Milwaukee.  Salomon Torres has been solid since taking over the closer role, but the rest of the pen has been more than shaky throughout the season.  Since Melvin and the Crew have made it clear that they are putting all their eggs into the basket this year, I would expect them to make a move for a relief pitcher or two to add some consistency to that spot.
 –David K.
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The Brew Crew made the first HUGE splash of the 2008 trading period by landing C.C. Sabathia.  They have all the talent to make a run and are actually my favorite pick to catch the Cubs.  They must address their bullpen however and go after another closer or set-up guy.  Huston Street makes a lot of sense as the A’s like youth and the Brewers have plenty to offer.  Will Ohman and Chad Bradford could also be nice fits

–Soxman
 

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St. Louis Cardinals –
In April I told people that this would be Tony LaRussa’s last season in St. Louis because they would be bad and he would get forced out. Last month I told people that the Cardinals were going to start their nosedive down the standings. Here we are at the trade deadline and we’re discussing them as a potential long term contender in 2008. I’ll try and force down the crow I’m eating and discuss what the Cards can do to make their overachieving team a contender into the fall. The Cardinals’ success has largely been attributed to the team’s ability to overcome injuries to big name players by allowing smaller name players make a name for themselves. Ryan Ludwick, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Franklin have all stepped up to perform well beyond their expectations. With Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter expected to return to the rotation at some point in the second half, the rotation looks to be set for a post-season run. Somehow this team (the same one I predicted would be in the lower third of the league) is the only team that I wouldn’t change at all. They have a couple of very solid bench players (Aaron Miles and Chris Duncan) to go with their starting lineup which is obviously meshing very well and a good pitching staff that looks to get better as the team gets healthy. Plus they have Tony LaRussa, which has to count for something.

–Peter Christian

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The Redbirds will have a tough decision to make; try and make a couple moves in hopes of keeping up with the Cubs and Crew or wave the white flag and start selling spare parts.  Yes, Carpenter and Wainwright will give a boost to a surprising starting rotation, but question is; will it be too late?  Franklin has done a nice job since replacing Jason Isringhausen as a closer, but if the Cards are serious about a post-season run, they probably need to solidify that closer role by maybe making a run at Huston Street, George Sherrill, or some other veteran stopper.
–David K.

The Cardinals second half success will widely depend on the healthy return of Chris Carpenter.  They are also actively talking to the Pirates about Jason Bay or Xavier Nady.  While the Cardinals deny it, they would be willing to part with Colby Rasmus for another slugger.  They could also make a strong push for A.J. Burnett, who almost signed with the Cardinals before settling on the Blue Jays.  A lower-cost possibility is Randy Wolfe.  All-star Christian Guzman would also make a lot of sense for the Cardinals.  David Eckstein is also available and was beloved when he was with the Cardinals.  As the Nationals are going nowhere this season, I’m surprised Guzman has not drawn more interest.
 
–Soxman

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7/17- Red Sox
7/18- Yankees
7/19- Rays
7/20- White Sox
7/21- Twins
7/22- Tigers
7/24-Angels
7/25- A’s, Rangers
7/26- Phillies, Mets, Marlins
7/27- Cubs
7/28-Brewers, Cardinals
7/29- Dodgers, Diamondbacks

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Comments

  1. Cano's Cards says

    too bad the Brewers are going to wear out CC’s arm if they keep throwing him as many innings as they are… but I guess he’s only a three month rental…

  2. paulmbanks says

    C.C.=Cano’s Cards

  3. paulmbanks says

    They have both the Cubs-Crew and Sox-Twins game on the TVs here in the press box for the Peoria-Kane County game….Yes! You can put it on the board.!

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