Rasmus To Be Traded?


The MLB trade deadline is less than one week away, and we all know what that means. It’s just about time for a steady flow of transactions to take place around the league. Whether the trades are high value or low value, expected or unexpected, the dynamic of baseball’s stretch run to the postseason is often changed in some way. For a team locked in a tight division race like the Cardinals, any and all moves that are made during the next 6 days will be of extreme significance. Let’s take a look at the latest rumor in St. Louis.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have made Colby Rasmus available to the Chicago White Sox. Chicago general manager Kenny Williams has thrown starting pitching Edwin Jackson and reliever Matt Thornton into negotiations in his pursuit of the 24-year-old center fielder Rasmus.

First of all, I’d have a hard time believing that this news really comes as a surprise to Redbird fans. Although John Mozeliak has insisted that the team is not looking to deal it’s struggling outfielder, Rasmus’ rough relations with manager Tony La Russa make it easy to see why a deal could be made given the right parameters. As I mentioned, throw in the facts that Rasmus is underachieving and the NL Central will be difficult to win, andt vttv tvt you’ve got the perfect trade recipe.

With that said, however, just because a deal makes sense does not mean that it should be executed. As much as I would like to see Colby remain in St. Louis and become the superstar that he is capable of becoming, I would be ok with trading him for the right value. That last part is key. There is absolutely no way that the Cards can’t get more for Colby Rasmus than Edwin Jackson (or Thornton) and a prospect. Even if that prospect is Chris Sale (Chicago’s 2010 first-round pick), the exchange would be unfair in every sense of the word.

I understand that you have to give a little to get what you’re looking for, but this is simply a joke. Considering Mozeliak’s hesitance to trade Rasmus in the first place and his general strength in evaluating talent, I’m shocked that we’re even talking about this right now. I mean, c’mon. Really?

Yes Rasmus is batting .244/.311/.413 with 10 home runs, 37 RBIs, 5 steals, and 76 strikeouts in 332 at-bats this season. Yes the Cardinals have a fully capable replacement in Jon Jay. Yes there is a serious need for some pitching help. But are the Cards really willing to give away their potential-packed 2005 first-round pick for an inconsistent starter, overpriced reliever, and unproven prospect?

Jackson is just 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts this season with a .283 batting average against. For his career, he is 55-58 with a 4.53 ERA. The 27-year-old is no better than any of the starters currently on the St. Louis roster, and the way I see it, he is a mediocre-at-best guy who wouldn’t be a difference maker in a playoff run. Not to mention, He is scheduled to become a free agent after this season.

Look, I realize that sitting back and doing nothing could come back to haunt this team similar to last year, and I’m all for listening to offers and proposals. The Nationals and Rays are also reportedly interested in Rasmus, but unless John Mozeliak is 100% sure that he can get someone that is of equal or greater value than Rasmus and will all but guarantee an NL Central Title for St. Louis, it is imperative that he not pull the trigger on a trade.

I haven’t lost all faith in Rasmus yet, and I hope other fans feel the same way. He has shown flashes of stardom in the past, and sometimes it pays to be patient and let a guy with a slow learning curve grow and develop. With so much at stake in both the winning and financial departments, the correct decisions must be made all across the board.