The Trading Gap Shuffle

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 26: Daniel Descalso #33 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to first base against the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium on July 26, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Four days left until the trade deadline, and absolutely nothing seems much clearer than it did a week ago. Or two weeks ago. Or a month ago, for that matter. Not just for the Cardinals, mind you; it seems most years now we get these extended holding patterns as 20-22 of the 30 clubs feel like they're still in it as July draws to a close. 

As such, there seems to be this enormous gap between the expectations and the reality of what actually happens at the deadline most years. Teams talk about trading for an Upton Brother, but then usually end up trading for a sock one of the Upton Brothers wore during a late June extra inning game. (The fact it was an extra inning affair means the sock had more time to absorb the magic. And the sweat. Mostly the magic. But mostly the sweat.) Established closers occasionally change hands, but not nearly so often as it seems they should, due to the fact one side of the aisle is screaming about save percentage and the other is screaming back, just as loudly, about the foolishness of the save stat and why closers are so hugely overvalued.

And so, with the Cardinals currently chugging along in the middle of one of the most important stretches of the season (it may not seem vital playing the 'Stros and Cubs -- the 2011 versions, at least -- but this may be the single best chance the Cards have for the rest of the season to rack up a large victory total in a big bunch like this), the trading deadline looms ever larger but no closer to feeling imminent. We've hashed and rehashed the Cards' needs a million times around here, so there's really nothing new I can say. (For the record, I'll take Hiroki Kuroda and Randy Choate, flip McClellan back to an amorphous role in the 'pen, and take a run at anyone in baseball.) We've also laughed at all the reports of teams asking for Carlos Martinez in return for their LOOGY, so that's been fun. In the end, though, I'm feeling more and more like the trade deadline this year -- at least for the Redbirds -- is going to be all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

But then again, that's not all bad. After all, no move is better than a bad move, right? Right. Still, there's a part of me that wishes for some excitement, to wake up one morning, pick up the morning paper (Okay, so I don't really have a morning paper. Allow me the anachronism, will you?), and see big screaming bold letters announcing a major acquisition.

At least we can all be glad the Cards are playing better baseball at the moment. And the fact we won't have to watch Johnny Gomes nearly as often now.

I don't have much to say this morning, and little time to say it in. I'm on vacation from the day job this week, but have managed to overbook my time off to the point I'll likely be exhausted by the time I get back to work.  So I'll just leave you with this small bit of fluff relating to the middle infield.

In 225 plate appearances, Skip Schumaker has been worth 0.6 wins.

In 375 plate appearances, Ryan Theriot has been worth -0.2 wins.

In 274 plate appearances, Daniel Descalso has been worth 1.1 wins.

Schumaker and Descalso are making $3.1 million this season, combined.

Ryan Theriot is making $3.3 million.

Everyone have a lovely day, stay out of the heat if at all possible, keep an eye on the news wire, and I'll speak to you all again next week, when we should know a whole lot more about the things that may or may not have been traded.

The Baron's Playlist for the 27th of July, 2011

"The Rainbow Connection" - Trespassers William (For any of you out there who have children and would like to find something musical that's both kid-friendly and tolerable, might I recommend this record to you, on which this particular song appears.)

"Safe, Sound" - Trespassers William

"Holland, 1945" - Neutral Milk Hotel

"Where You'll Find Me Now" - Neutral Milk Hotel

"Windmill" - Wu-Tang Clan

"Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" - Wu-Tang Clan

"Liquid Swords" - GZA

"1112" - GZA

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