Cards Trade Ludwick: Everyone’s Pissed but Jake Westbrook

A few hours before the Major League Baseball trading deadline passed, the Cardinals brass pulled the trigger on a three-team deal that brought back a pitching prospect from the San Diego Padres and veteran starting picture Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians while sending right-fielder Ryan Ludwick to the Padres in return.

Everyone is pissed. Well not everyone…Jake Westbrook is stoked.

“I’m excited to go to a club that’s contending for a playoff spot and pitch in some meaningful ballgames,” Westbrook said. “That’s why you play the game, to get a chance to play in the playoffs and I look forward to doing that.”

Well that’s nice. Good for him. Get really for a cold clammy welcome Jake!

Compared to the views within the walls of Busch Stadium, those fan tweets are nearly cheers.

Asked if he was surprised by the deal, Chris Carpenter waited 12 seconds before responding.

“The loss of Ludwick is something that surprised me,” the ace eventually said. “In turn, you have to give up something to get something. Unfortunately it was Ryan. … I can only speak for myself and not for everybody else. It’s nice to acquire a guy like Westbrook, and it’s hard to lose a guy like Ludwick. There’s no question.”

He paused five seconds.

“It will be interesting to see.”

Cold vibes coming from Carpenter, but the off-the-record Cardinal quotes Joe Strauss got are much better:

“Please tell me there’s something else happening,” one player said.

Told nothing was imminent, the same player wondered aloud, “What the hell are we doing?”

The opinionated press were no more kind on the deal as the players were. Bernie Miklasz quickly blasted the deal:

When you have a lethargic offense, you don’t give up an above-average run producer for an average starting pitcher. And that’s especially true in a summer 2010 trade market that’s seen a devaluation of starting pitching.

This was a three-way trade involving the Cardinals, Cleveland and San Diego, with Ludwick headed to SoCal.

It could have been a game of three-card Monte, with the Cardinals getting snookered.

Finally, how did Ludwick himself feel about the trade that sent him to Southern California?

One eyewitness to Ludwick’s departure Saturday described him as “crushed” by the move when he left Busch Stadium around 1:30 p.m.

Dude. Cheer up. Avocados are cheaper out there…so you got that going for you.

Though we are all for the trade of Ludwick, we aren’t a fan of this particular deal. By all accounts Ryan Ludwick was well-like in both the clubhouse and the stands and managed to hold off the injury bug for a few years in St. Louis long enough to put up some numbers. We see the Cardinals side for sure: 2008, Ludwick’s best year, looks like an outlier and would be hard for him to repeat in both numbers and staying healthy, all while his price went up on a suddenly cost-concious club with Pujols’ new contract looms. It’s clear that no matter when the traded Ludwick, people would have felt the same, but getting more than 2 months of Jake Westbrook…like maybe a shortstop that can hit…would have surely lessoned the blow.

via STLToday (here, here, and here) and ESPN