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.