I normally try to avoid posting close to John, but I'm pretty fired-up after last night's awesome win and because of the all the rumors flying around as the trade deadline approaches, so I'm going to work a little off John's post and add in my own thoughts. Anyway, apparently there's some talk that when Wainwright comes back, it could be as the team's closer. I'm basically lukewarm to this idea. On the one hand, I've been harping about how we have one glaring weakness, and it's the bullpen. Wainwright has proven he can close-out games in the most pressure filled of situations in the playoffs. He would be an obvious solution to this problem. It also may protect him from further injuries in the future. On the other hand, this move could set-up a big long term problem for us. We obviously can't count on Mulder in the future and are unlikely to pick-up his option for next year. It doesn't seem like Clement will be of help in this regard, as last I heard he is being rehabbed as a reliever (though that does seem wise, seeing the current situation). Lohse and Looper are also free-agents. This would leave us with Carpenter, Wellenmeyer and Pineiro as starters for next season. Certainly, there are some free agent prospects out there, signing Lohse long term might be a good start, but it's always dicey committing to pitchers long term and Wainwright is already signed at a reasonable price. This brings me back to my original point: we have a good team this year, I think a more talented one than the 2006 team. This team has one hole. I think that hole can be filled without threatening our future too much. Using Wainwright to fill that hole, I believe, threatens the future more than a trade would. It's never been the Cardinal's style to make big free agent signings. It's rarely been their style to make big trades. Trading for Rolen several years ago and then Mulder are about the only two examples I can think of, and those worked-out only kind of. Now I have no idea what is being asked for Sherrill or Fuentes, but I have to think it is less than what it took to get Harden, Sabathia, or the Nady/Marte combo. I say keep Wainwright in the rotation, and just make a deal to be the stop gap for this year. Sorry to keep harping on the same thing, but when you see your rivals going for it, it's tough not to see your own team do the same. On a side note, I totally agree with John about the Reyes deal. We at least got SOMETHING for him. He was out of options and wasn't going to play for us in any form next year. Plus, he's a guy that needs a change of scenery. Hey, he won one HUGE game for us, and it's nice that the Cardinals are giving him a second chance someplace else, so I commend management for that at least.