St. Louis Cardinals: The non-waiver deadline matters not to this Cardinals team

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MIAMI, FL - JULY 16: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins attempts a hit during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on July 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 16: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins attempts a hit during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on July 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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As baseball maniacs like us at Redbird Rants refresh our laptops every ten minutes in hope of the latest trade scoop, the simple truth is that we can relax a bit when it comes to what the St. Louis Cardinals will or won’t do.

The reason? Because given the current status of the St. Louis Cardinals 2017 season, it really doesn’t matter whether their deals come in July or August. It just matters that they come. As I’ve written before, the team’s goals should be on improvement for 2018 and beyond, and if 2017 is helped, that’s a fine byproduct.

Now, it is true that there’s a hurdle to accomplishing deals in August that doesn’t exist before the start of that month. And that is that players must clear waivers before they can be traded.

But the reason that waiver deals don’t happen is typically that competitive teams will block such a deal by asserting a claim on the key player. The other teams don’t want the teams they’re battling with to gain an edge.

Putting in a waiver claim will usually cause the player’s current team to back off and withdraw the player from waivers, unless the team then wants to make a deal with the claiming team. And if the player clears waivers altogether, the player’s team is free to make a deal with whomever.

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In the case of the Cardinals, though, other teams may not really care to assert a claim if they don’t see the Redbirds as a serious threat to their own rise to the postseason.

And where the Cards stand today, on the edge of outside looking in, the team might not get any opposition to a deal in August, especially if the players they trade for are seen as more help next year than this one.

This all changes for the better if the player is expensive.  Unless a team is willing to give away a highly-paid stud — as some have suggested that the Miami Marlins might be willing to do with Giancarlo Stanton if the claiming team simply accepts the contract obligations — waiver claims tend to diminish as cost increases.

Having said all that, there are two other considerations, one that cuts each way. By waiting until August, the  pool of possible trade candidates might be diminished.  On the other hand, waiting will give the Cards that much more time to evaluate their contending possibilities for this season.

Next: Piscotty is key

On balance, because the chances for 2017 are low, the Cards are likely to overpay if they’re competing for players who contending teams really want. So patience suggests that the August deal plays may be more in order for this particular iteration of the Redbirds.

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