Mozeliak: Cardinals Pursuing Outside Help

St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirms he is looking for a trade to improve his second-place club.

St. Louis- The Cardinals don't know if they will be able to execute a trade that could impact the club's chances at making a deep run into October. But general manager John Mozeliak reassured fans Saturday that he's going to give it a try.

Speaking on the FOX Sports Midwest pregame show Saturday evening, Mozeliak said the Cardinals have the ability to add payroll and are actively pursuing ways to make them better.

"There's a lot of different ways we can help this club," Mozeliak said. "I think a lot of people in the media are trying to get specific in what we're trying to do, and we really haven't narrowed it down to one thing. We want to stay as open minded as possible. I think there's a lot of different ways we can get better. As the trading deadline approaches, a lot of times you may want to get something done and it just may not work, so I think we all have to manage our expectations of what might happen, but I can assure you from ownership to management, we're going to try."

The Cardinals have been hampered by injuries this year, most notably to the starting rotation. Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse were placed on the disabled list on consecutive days in late May. Penny was expected to return shortly after the All-Star break but recently suffered a setback and has been since shut down temporarily.

The return of Lohse is also up in the air as he works his way back from right forearm surgery. Lohse could return in August, but no timetable has been set for his return.

The Diamondbacks' Dan Haren has been rumored to be available, as has the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco, the Cubs' Ted Lilly, the Athletics' Ben Sheets and several other arms.

Houston ace Roy Oswalt appears to be the top starter available, but the Astros are asking for premium prospects in return. Oswalt put the Cardinals on his list of teams he would accept a trade to, but the right-hander is owed $16 million next season with a club option for another $16 million in 2012.

"This type of year, the cost of doing business is high, and we understand that," Mozeliak said. "So in terms of what were willing to do and give up, I think we're going to treat our minor league players as nobody is untouchable, but we want to make sure that we don't put ourselves in a position where we're sitting a year from now and we're completely depleted.

"We have to be smart about it but I do think this team is worth investing in, so we're going to try to do something."

Mozeliak said the Cardinals could also look to add a hitter instead if that were to make the club better. He also killed any silly thoughts of the Cardinals trading slugger Albert Pujols, who will become a free agent at the end of the next season.

"No way are we moving him, just no chance," Mozeliak said. "He's a part of this organization and our goal is to make him a part of this organization for his career. We'll leave it at that. I haven't even read those rumors."

Despite admitting he is pursuing help outside the organization, Mozeliak and the Cardinals know they can get better if they can just get their injured players off the disabled list. In addition to Lohse and Penny, the Cardinals have starting position players David Freese and Ryan Ludwick on the DL as well.

The Cardinals entered Saturday's game two games behind the first place Cincinnati Reds, a margin Mozeliak thinks the Cardinals can overcome if they can begin to get their injured players back on the field.

"When you look back at the talent on this club, I think that's why we're all a little frustrated at times with where we are," Mozeliak said. "But we haven't been that healthy either. When you lose Penny and Lohse out of your rotation and obviously having Ludwick and Freese not playing, it's made it difficult. We've found ways to stay tight, were only two games out, and if we can get healthy and get some of those guys back, it's fair to think we could put a good run together and maybe put a little separation out there."

 

 

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