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MLB Trades: St. Louis Cardinals Acquire Justin Masterson in Trade With Cleveland Indians

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By Lou Imperial | July 31, 2014 11:12 PM EST

The St. Louis Cardinals acquired starting pitcher Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for top prospect James Ramsey, a source close to situation reported on Thursday.

In an attempt to further bolster their starting rotation, the Cardinals pulled off a deal that would give them one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball for the past two seasons.

Masterson is having a down year with injuries, but his 2013 production 3.45 ERA with 9.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 58.5 percent ground-ball rate in 193 innings suggests the kind of pitcher he is when healthy.

With Masterson's arrival, the Cardinals placed starting pitcher Michael Wacha on the 60-day Disabled List to make room for their newest hurler. Masterson has 5.51 ERA and a walk rate of 5.1 BB per nine innings. However, the Cards took a gamble on him because of Wacha's injury and Shelby Miller's struggle.

MLB Rumors revealed the Cardinals attempted to trade for Boston Red Sox hurlers Jake Peavy and Jon Lester, and even Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price.  

"The Cardinals have been on the lookout for rotation help for weeks now, having also been connected to Jake Peavy as well as aces David Price and Jon Lester," MLB trade rumors reported on Thursday.

On the other hand, the Indians acquired a highly-touted prospect in the Cards farm. Ramsey, the 2012 first round pick, is ranked seventh among Cardinals prospects midway into the 2014 season according to Baseball America's midseason list.

The 24-year old Ramsey boasts a batting percentage of.300/.389/.527 with 13 homers in 281 Double-A plate appearances this season, and is raved about his speed as a center fielder.

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