The St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, and Cleveland Indians all made a trade at the deadline Saturday.  San Diego and St. Louis, two teams making playoff pushes, made moves that filled a hole that they had on each of their respective rosters.

St. Louis acquired right-handed starting pitcher Jake Westbrook, Single A left-handed pitcher Nick Greenwood, and cash, while trading outfielder Ryan Ludwick to San Diego.

For the Cardinals this is a risky move.  The injuries to Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse have been a blow to the team, but it still maintains the second best ERA in the league.  The loss of Ludwick depletes an offense that ranks 9th in the league in team batting average and 17th in the league in runs scored.

This trade has two sides to it.  In order to determine if the Cardinals are winners or losers in this trade, the state of the team must be assessed. 

Currently the Cardinals continue to falter offensively and remain inconsistent.  Therefore, trading away a former All Star and prominent hitter in the lineup is a risky move.  Ludwick was also known to be a positive influence in the clubhouse.    

On the other side the Cardinals acquired a very serviceable starter in Jake Westbrook.  A pitcher of his caliber, with a groundball mindset that could be further enhanced under the tutelage of Dave Duncan, can improve a Cardinals rotation that has been inconsistent at the back end. 

Nick Greenwood will be able to bolster a minor league system that was depleted during the trade deadline of 2009.  He is something that the Cardinals do not have much of in their system, a left-handed pitcher.  Although he does not appear to be a premier impact prospect, he still could help replenish a farm system in need of an overhaul.

The last aspect of this trade, which I think is very essential to this deal taking place, is that Ludwick is due for a raise next season and the Cardinals have recently signed Matt Holliday to a rich contract with Pujols’ free agency looming.  It appears that the Cardinals are looking to the future and realizing that they cannot afford Ludwick for the 2011 season.

This move paves that way for John Jay, who is having a superb 2010 season thus far.  By making this move the Cardinals have basically said that we are confident in John Jay’s ability to play every day and that Brad Penny is most likely not going to pitch again this season.

This trade is hard to assess, but with Jake Westbrook’s track record and ground ball mindset, ultimately I think that the Cardinals have added a pitcher that could potentially give them one of the deepest rotations in the National League and enable them to surpass the Reds down the stretch during their push for the playoffs.

Read more MLB news on