I’m pretty sure that between posts and attempts at being funny on Twitter, I probably spent about 10,000 words writing about the Colby Rasmus trade yesterday. At least it felt like that at around 6:00 PM. Surprisingly, Getting Blanked wasn’t the only outlet posting opinions on the deal that brought Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Here’s a little sampling of what the other guys were saying.
Looking at this White Sox-Blue Jays-Cardinals deal as a single, three-team swap, I love what Toronto did, don’t understand what the Chicago did and like St. Louis’ short-term gain but neither the cost nor the signal about their internal priorities.
In the end, they’re dealing Jason Frasor, Marc Rzepczynski, Zach Stewart and Octavio Dotel… for Colby Rasmus (and Mark Teahen’s $7 million contract). That’s two veteran relievers on one-year deals, a young lefty with No. 4/5 starter potential, a few million in cash and one good pitching prospect. That’s it. For a potential superstar center fielder. What makes this even crazier is that Anthopolous seems to be forming a habit of making great deals like this one.
The Cardinals and Colby Rasmus just didn’t seem to be able to reconcile their differences — with both parties likely at fault — and at some point, GM John Mozeliak had to cut his losses. The Cardinals managed to do so without weakening themselves noticeably in the short run, and with the lack of leverage given Rasmus’s situation, that’s probably as well as the Cardinals could do.
The Blue Jays clearly win this deal acquiring a talent like Rasmus, who has all five tools and the ability to become a complete player with .900 OPS potential. His makeup has been questioned and his listening and learning skills need to improve. But he’s just 24 and veteran Jose Bautista will help him. For the Blue Jays to have acquired Brett Lawrie and Rasmus in the past 12 months has been an amazing job of trading by general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who continues his long-term planning in Toronto.
This trade makes sense only if Mozeliak believes Pujols is leaving via free agency and he wants to ramp up for one last run with the man who for years has been the best player in baseball. Even if that is the case, Rasmus is the last player he should want to trade – the very sort who, if he couldn’t replace Pujols, surely could grow into a player around whom the Cardinals build.
The Cardinals traded a nugget of gold for a couple pieces of silver, a chunk of bronze and a roll of tin foil.
While each team has its reasons for executing this deal, it’s easiest to see from the Blue Jays perspective. They got a player who will be with them as they try to contend from 2012 through 2014. All they gave up in exchange were three relievers and a questionable prospect. Credit Anthopolous for bringing everyone together here. There were two distinct opportunities, and he took advantage of both. He certainly has had a successful first couple of years at the helm in Toronto.
Colby Rasmus and Tony La Russa didn’t get along, but it was La Russa’s job–his most important job–to make sure that that didn’t interfere with the Cardinals’ success. He couldn’t do it–didn’t even seem to want to do it–and all the good work La Russa has done with a perpetually depleted roster in 2011 was wiped away with this one stubborn indiscretion.
The Jays made out like bandits here, even after factoring in the hidden costs. They were forced to take on $7.5 million unwanted dollars by absorbing the Mark Teahen and Tallet contracts. They gave up the possibility of two supplemental first-round picks by moving Jason Frasor and Dotel. And Rzepczynski is an underrated property with his fine 2.97 ERA in 39 1/3 innings out of the pen this year. But to get a player like Rasmus, it really wasn’t much of a price to pay.
He’s a kid that has changed from the kid that he was a year and a half ago. He made a lot of changes in his life. As a player, he thought that we would be picking on him when we helped him out. I wasn’t a player as talented as he is, but I was around some great guys who took me under their wings. Sometimes he looked at it in a different way. He thought that we were picking on him.As a young player you [wanted] to help him out. Hopefully he can get it. Sometimes big changes can be better for the player. Better situations. It doesn’t mean that he wasn’t here in a better situation. You need to ask him if he was comfortable or not. He has a great future ahead of him. He’ll be an All-Star probably. I’m telling you, he’s going to have a great career, man, as soon as he puts things together.
I’d be surprised if he doesn’t blossom, being out from under all this. There are three or four guys in the St. Louis clubhouse right now, thinking “oh-oh, who is the manager going to pick on next with Colby gone?”
Pretty lousy [return] for a guy with his upside and years of control.
The only rationale could be that they know something about Rasmus that no one else does.
The only thing I am sure of is that Alex Anthopoulos is the smartest dude in the game — unreal trade for him.