With the St. Louis Cardinals mired in their worst season in decades, the trade deadline is set to be an unfamiliar one for Cardinals fans accustomed to purchasing assets. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said that the team will be sellers and that the return needs to be "pitching, pitching, pitching."
The Cardinals' pitch-to-contact approach has bitten them this year, as the ban on the defensive shift has rendered their model ineffective. The team's pitching development has lagged behind that of other organizations, so the Cardinals are being forced to search outside the organization until the pitching woes from within are rectified. Mozeliak mentioned that the team is going to try to adjust to the change in pitching and is now more focused on finding pitchers who have swing-and-miss stuff.
The Cardinals recently made their first of what will likely be many moves to come, as they signed free agent reliever Ryan Tepera and designated lefty reliever Genesis Cabrera for assignment.
The team needs to walk a tightrope at the deadline this year: If the Cardinals are too passive, they will be stuck spinning their wheels for years to come as they continually attempt to patch the holes in the roster for the stretch run, but if they’re too aggressive, they risk not being competitive next year while the young players develop in the minor leagues. Because it's such a thin line that the Cardinals have to traverse, there are a few ways that this could go horribly wrong.