The Detroit Tigers traded lefty Mike Maroth to the pitching-desperate St. Louis Cardinals on Friday in a deal between last year's World Series opponents.
The trade came with St. Louis struggling at 32-37 and the Tigers tied for the AL Central lead. The Tigers will receive a player to be named for Maroth, who had an arm operation last year.
Maroth knew a deal was imminent with Kenny Rogers rejoining the rotation Friday night in Atlanta after recovering from a blood clot in his left shoulder. Rogers was activated before the game to make his first start of the season.
"There's only so many spots," Maroth said. "This team is stacked with pitchers, which is a great situation to be in from an organizational standpoint."
The 29-year-old Maroth was 5-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 13 starts. While those numbers may not seem impressive, they should be a boost to St. Louis' battered rotation.
Ace Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder are rehabilitating from injuries and not expected back anytime soon. Braden Looper recently joined them on the disabled list.
How desperate are the defending World Series champions for reliable starters? Anthony Reyes was set to go Friday night with an 0-8 record and 6.34 ERA. Kip Wells was 3-11 with a 6.75 ERA and got scratched from a scheduled appearance Tuesday just hours before the game. Earlier this week, the Cardinals signed Tomo Ohka to a minor league contract; he was 2-5 with a 5.79 ERA when Toronto released him.
"Mike is a young pitcher who we feel is only going to get stronger as he continues his recovery from last season's surgery," Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He is an established starter who is going to provide us with innings and help take pressure off of our bullpen. We think the change in leagues will also benefit Mike."
Maroth will return briefly to Detroit to gather some belongings, then join his new team in New York for a series against the Mets next week, where he likely will make his debut.
"I know the team's not playing the way it's capable of playing. They've had a lot to deal with this year," Maroth said. "I'm excited to go in there and do whatever I can to help them get back on track."
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=A ... &type=lgns