Gordon: Cards make sensible pitching trade

Gordon: Cards make sensible pitching trade Live

As expected, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak made a move to gain pitching protection.

But it wasn't the blockbuster some national media types proposed. Instead, he made a smaller move to bring veteran Justin Masterson from Cleveland for outfield prospect James Ramsey.

The Cardinals like Ramsey a lot, especially after he added more pop to his bat. But their outfield crowding kept him from even getting up to the Triple-A level this season. Thomas Pham's long-awaited breakthrough blocked Ramsey at one end of the pipeline and Charlie Tilson's rise pushed him from another.

Masterson will need some work to regain his old form, but he is coming into an excellent pitching environment. As a pending free agent, he may or may not extend his stay past this season -- depending on how his fares and how other Cardinals progress.

His arrival will allow the Cardinals to take their time with excitable
Carlos Martinez, who in turn bolsters the bullpen.

Might the Cardinals
still try to upgrade by moving Shelby Miller for a veteran like Jon Lester? Perhaps, but such a deal would not be quite so sensible. It appears other teams have a better shot at Lester.

Teams with top-end pitching want Oscar Taveras in the return package. Given the stunning decline in corner infield production for the Cardinals, moving out their top corner outfield prospect doesn't seem like a bright idea.

Here is how the Twitterverse reacted to this trade:


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