By Rob Rains

At some point on Monday afternoon, the Cardinals executives sitting around a conference room at Busch Stadium realized the trading deadline was going to pass without the team making a deal.

It was not a good feeling.

“There was certainly a level of frustration in the room on trying to do some things, but we also didn’t want to do something that in the long term that we might regret just to say we did a deal,” John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, said during a conference call.

The Cardinals had conversations with multiple teams about pitcher Lance Lynn and other players but never came close to a deal, Mozeliak said.

“We certainly were in discussions on a lot of topics,” Mozeliak said. “We approached the last week as trying to find ways not only to try to see if we could improve the club this year but also for 2018 and 2019 and as today unfolded we just weren’t able to cross the finish line.”

As Mozeliak said he told Lynn a couple of weeks ago, the team did not intend to “sell low” because of his status as a pending free agent who might not re-sign with the Cardinals this winter.

“There was never anything compelling to us that we thought made sense,” Mozeliak said.

If the Cardinals do not trade Lynn, they can make him a qualifying offer at the end of the season and if he rejects it, receive a pick after the second round of next June’s amateur draft if he signs with another team.

Even in the final hour before the deadline, after the trade sending Sonny Gray from Oakland to the Yankees was finalized, there was no increase in the pursuit of Lynn, Mozeliak said.

“Momentum did not ever seem to go from a quiet point to a much more active point,” Mozeliak said. “There were definitely some teams that were in discussion about him but never to the point where we thought it was a smart move. If there was we would have traded him.”

The same was true with discussions about possible deals involving the Cardinals’ outfielders.

“Clearly that was not the theme of the trading deadline (position players),” Mozeliak said. “We just never felt we were very close to any of that.”

Mozeliak did confirm the Cardinals will make one roster move before Tuesday night’s game in Milwaukee, activating Stephen Piscotty from the disabled list. Harrison Bader is being sent back to Memphis.

The team heads into the series against the Brewers one game under .500 and 4 ½ games behind the division-leading Cubs.

Even though the Cardinals did not make a trade, Mozeliak said he was encouraged by the recent performance by Trevor Rosenthal closing out games and believes the team also will get a boost from Piscotty’s return, and that of Dexter Fowler in the next week as well.

Part of the difficulty in making deals, Mozeliak said, was the team’s status of not really being in the race, but not being totally out of it either.

“We were open to any ideas,” he said. “We talked about what it might look like to move a player and we also looked at what it would be to add players. Again, it wasn’t as if we were driven to do one or the other; we just could never find a trading partner on either side.

“We definitely had trial balloons going up on all different fronts – small deals, large deals, complicated deals, simple deals. We just weren’t able to get something where we felt comfortable hitting the go button, or perhaps the other side as well for that matter.”

Teams can still make trades in August, but players would have to first clear waivers.

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