The St. Louis Cardinals are one of many teams in a virtual no-man's-land. At 31-36, the Cardinals' unfortunate record is due to a couple of extended rough stretches.
All the same, they sit only 4 1/2 games back from the first place Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. Catching the Brewers may be the team's only hope of reaching the postseason, however, as they're already 11 games out of the second Wild Card spot.
The jury remains out on whether the Cardinals perceive themselves as buyers or sellers. As Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports, one option in either scenario is trading starting pitcher Lance Lynn.
"The Cardinals might very well trade Lynn who is a potential free agent," Rosenthal said. "They've got a number of potential replacements in the minor leagues."
Lynn has been an excellent piece for the Cardinals' rotation in 2017, posting a 5-3 record with a 2.69 ERA over 13 starts. This comes after missing all of 2016 following Tommy John surgery.
Lynn leads the team's starters in ERA, though his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is the highest at 4.75. Still, a hurler with his five-pitch repertoire should draw plenty of interest should the Cardinals pursue a trade.
Here's how the four have done in the minors this season:
The emergence of these young arms, combined with Lynn's pending free agency, makes losing him far less damaging. Such a trade would not indicate waving a white flag on the season either, especially if the team addresses the void in the middle of the lineup.
The Cardinals have a bit of a wealth at the pitcher position, and it should extend past this season since Alex Reyes is expected to return in time for the 2018 campaign. If re-signing Lynn isn't on the table, dealing him prior to the deadline makes sense.