Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says he was never close to trading outfielder Oscar Taveras

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Oscar Taveras has been mentioned as a possible centerpiece in trade talks this week for top-tier starting pitchers like David Price and Jon Lester, but if Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is to be believed that was all speculation from the outside.

This excerpt comes from Bernie Miklasz’s latest column on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website …

Mozeliak told me he was never close to trading Taveras and was amused by the speculation that had him moving Taveras.

The Cardinals got Justin Masterson from the Indians on Wednesday afternoon for Double-A outfielder James Ramsey and might be done dealing with a little under 24 hours to go before Thursday’s deadline.

Taveras has struggled in his first taste of the majors, but the 21-year-old Dominican was a .320/.376/.516 hitter in 436 minor league games and hasn’t exactly been used properly by manager Mike Matheny.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.