With the trade deadline looming, it appears that the Cardinals are focusing their efforts on acquiring a pitcher.
Per Ken Rosenthal, St. Louis is still looking for rotation upgrades. The Cardinals are
exploring everything from front-line starters to back-of-the-rotation
types, he says.
Jennifer Langosch confirms Rosenthal's report, indicating that the Cardinals are looking for starting pitching, however, per
GM John Mozeliak, nothing is imminent. Asked if Cards were seeking a
top end starter or back-end depth, Mo said that the later was more
Based on these reports and previous rumors, it appears the the Cardinals are probably looking at David Price on the top end or Jake Peavy as back-end depth, amongst others.
According to Bob Nightengale, one
high-ranking AL exec thinks that St. Louis is the most likely landing
spot for Price (should the Rays decide to trade him). For what its worth, David Price recently took in a Cardinals game and told Nightengale that he was treated well.
On the other end of the spectrum, it appears that the Cards are keeping Peavy on the "back burner", according to Nick Cafardo. While Buster Olney says that the only reason that no Jake Peavy trade had been completed as of yet is that the Red Sox want a prospect, but Cards are only offering salary relief. Nonetheless, Peter Gammons says that the Red Sox are scouting Cardinals prospect Rowan Wick.
Reading between the lines, it appears that the Cards are checking out all their options when it comes to finding a starting pitcher. While Mo says a back-end starter is more likely, I'm sure they wouldn't be opposed to acquiring Price, if the price is right. However, it appears that Mo wants to see if the price will come down on Price, before making a move on Peavy.
However, despite playing the waiting game, it appears that the Cardinals believe they will acquire a pitcher. The most telling thing is that Carlos Martinez is being moved back to the pen, according to Derrick Goold, with Shelby Miller returning to the rotation.
Even with the return of Miller to the rotation, the demotion of Martinez leaves the Cardinals with just 4 starters (Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly and Miller). With off days on Thursday and Monday, the Cards will not need a 5th starter until August 2nd. The demotion of Martinez to the pen, makes it appear that they believe they will have a new addition to the rotation by then.
So, while it may come down to the wire, I think that the Cardinals will acquire another starter by the July 31st deadline and it appears that the team believes that as well.