This says all there is to say about bullpen trade rumors: Apparently all it takes to declare the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen mostly stable, after two infuriating months, is adding Barret Browning and Brian Fuentes and waiting for Fernando Salas's luck to even out. (Side note: Barret Browning has been a major league baseball player for nearly a month and Google still doesn't know his name.)
The rotation is a little easier to figure, but our current satisfaction still has a little something to do with Joe Kelly pitching over his head and everybody else operating at peak efficiency.
So the Cardinals go into the trade deadline, very unexpectedly, without much in the way of clamoring to make a move. I'm happy about that; this isn't an uncompetitive team, and it wasn't even when it failed to compete. A panic move to fix the bullpen might have felt good in the moment, but then it would have felt terrible when there were topics across the internet titled RE: RE: RE: RE: IM GOING TO FIND HEATH BELL, AND IM GONNA GET ONE OF THOSE BIG BROADSWORDS, AND IM GONN
But given the Cardinals' prospect riches I can understand why the possibility of making a move would still be on the table. If they're going to do that, I think the last spot that offers significant returns this year is either in the rotation—is Josh Johnson available on the Hanley Ramirez plan?—or at second base, where the Cardinals could go after some less-conventional options.
I'm on another deadline this morning, so I'll lead off today's thread with a question: What's your favorite weird trade proposal? Mine was Chase Utley for a while, but then the rumor mill seemed to tire of churning out new Phillies doomsday scenarios.
Now I've moved on to Stephen Drew. Bandied about in trade rumors over the last month or so and given a Colby Rasmus-style vote of confidence a few days ago, Drew is coming off a brutal ankle injury and hasn't played well in his first month back. But he's been an average defensive shortstop and an above-average hitter at the position for most of his career; if the Cardinals are interested in upgrading their infield, I think it makes sense, given Rafael Furcal's omnipresent injury concerns, to get a guy like this, who could move to second but also play shortstop for long stretches.
He's also 29 and has a $10 million mutual option for 2013, which just makes him seem, for some reason, like the kind of player the Cardinals would chase. He's the soft-tossing innings-eater of impact trades.