OK, stop me if you've heard this before:
John Mozeliak: Mike, you got a minute?
Yeah. Take a seat.
You can't start Craig in right tonight. You'll have to start Taveras.
Yeah, I don't want to go fifteen rounds, Mo. The lineup card is mine, and that's all.
That lineup card is definitely yours. I'm just saying you can't start Craig in right.
Well, I am starting him in right.
I don't think so. He plays for Boston now.
You traded Craig?
Yeah. And Joe Kelly too.
You are outside your mind.
In a scene right out of Moneyball, the Cardinals traded Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to Boston for starting pitcher John Lackey, minor leaguer Corey Littrell and cash. Not only does the move help shore up the Cards starting rotation, but it seemingly forces manager Mike Matheny to play Oscar Taveras, who has only started 6 games since July 10th.
Like Matheny, I was torn between playing Craig and letting him fight out of his slump versus playing Taveras and seeing what he could do on a regular basis. Now that decision is no longer in Matheny's hands.
In addition, the Cardinals replace Joe Kelly in the rotation with John Lackey. Kelly, who has a career 3.25 ERA as a starter, has struggled this year with a 4.37 ERA in 7 starts. While Lackey has pitched well this year with a 3.60 ERA in arguably the toughest division in baseball.
As an added bonus, Lackey has apparently said that he will honor the unusual clause in his contract which pays him only league miminum for the 2015 season due to his having Tommy John surgery between 2010 and 2014. Thus, the ability to keep Lackey around next year for a mere $500K definitely makes this move more attractive.
Long story short, it appears that both Kelly and Craig had fallen out of favor with the Cardinals, so Mozeliak made a move to bring in some new blood and hopefully breath some new life into this team.
Coupled with yesterday's acquisition of Justin Masterson, the Cardinals rotation now has a new look with Adam Wainwright, followed by Lance Lynn, Lackey, Shelby Miller and Masterson.
Plus, the Cardinals may not be done, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the Cardinals may also still be involved in the David Price sweepstakes. (If such a move is made, its likely that Shelby Miller will be involved).
All-in-all, its been a pretty interesting deadline to say the least.