It appears that the Cardinals are looking to acquire a pitcher before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. However, while most of the talk has surrounded David Price (apparently not yet on the market) and Jake Peavy (already traded), who are some of the other options that are reportedly on the market?
Lee just recently returned from the DL and was roughed up in his first start. Given his contract and health concerns, he is unlikely to be traded before the non-waiver deadline, but he will easily pass through waivers and could end up being traded in August.
Should the Cardinals strike out in their attempts to land a starter before the July 31st deadline, Lee could certainly become an option for them in August.
Per Andy Martino, the Mets are willing to eat approximately $2 million of the roughly $14 million remaining on Colon's contract (he's owed $11 million in 2015). At age 41, Colon just keeps plugging away, with a 4.01 ERA and a 100/19 K/BB ratio.
He is a better innings eater than Peavy would have been (and a better eater in general), but would likely cost the Cardinals one of their outfield prospects.
Jorge de la Rosa
The Rockies are reportedly listening on de la Rosa, among others (and no, Troy Tulowitzki is not one of them), per Thomas Harding of MLB.com. However, after asking the Orioles for their top prospect, Kevin Gausman in return, its pretty obvious that the price is pretty high.
De la Rosa is 11-6 with a 4.19 ERA, but has actually pitched better at Coors field (3.23 ERA) than on the road (5.37 ERA), making one wonder what his results would be if he pitched his home games at a "normal" ballpark.
The Red Sox appears to be at least listening on Lester and Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that the Red Sox and Dodgers were considering a Matt Kemp for Lester deal.
However, Ken Rosenthal says the the Red Sox want a "huge" return for Lester and Alex Speier reports that Lester is unlikely to sign an extension with any team that trades for him, making Lest a pretty unappealing target for the Cardinals.
Burnett's preference is to return to the Pirates, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, but their interest in him is mild, leaving the door open for other teams to step in. His contract includes a $15 million team option ($7.5 million player option) for 2015 and, although he can block trades to 20 teams, the Cardinals are not one of those teams.
There are other pitchers available, but the pitchers listed above probably the most appealing of the bunch. Colon of the Mets may be the best fit, as they are looking for outfielders (among other things) and the Cardinals certainly have plenty of outfield depth. Burnett is enticing as well, but its unclear what the Phillies would be looking for in return.
In any case, I fully expect the Cardinals to acquire a starting pitcher before the deadline, but, if they don't, they may take a hard look at Cliff Lee, once he clears waivers in August.