Law: Some smart pickups among the deadline’s smaller deals

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Some thoughts on the minor trades of the past 48 hours:

• The St. Louis Cardinals continued to deal from their outfield surplus — but used it to acquire two younger outfielders, sending Oscar Mercado to the Cleveland Indians for Conner Capel and Jhon Torres.

Mercado was their second-round pick in 2013, a shortstop with a glowing defensive reputation that far outstripped his abilities, but since a move to center field in 2016, he has become both an above-average defender in center and a much better hitter, showing occasional pop and making more frequent, higher-quality contact. He’s very instinctive in center, making up for average-at-best speed, but I really like his swing and think he could hit 35 doubles with double-digit homers.

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