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.

Keith Law (ESPN):

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.

Satchel Price (Beyond The Box Score):

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.

Jack Moore (FanGraphs):

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.

Jim Bowden (ESPN):

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.

Jeff Passan (Yahoo! Sports):

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.

Joe Pawlikowski (FanGraphs):

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.

DanUpBaby (Viva El Birdos):

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.

Matthew Pouliot (HardBall Talk):

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.

Albert Pujols via Derrick Goold (St. Louis Today):

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.

Tony Rasmus via Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun):

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?”

Several Rival Executives via Ken Rosenthal (FOX Sports):

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.

Comments (21)

  1. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/why-the-cardinals-cant-trade-colby-rasmus/

    I love the first three comments under this article from a few weeks ago.

  2. Hahahahahaha. That is awesome.

  3. Jeez. Love the deal, but the comments from Pujols are troubling. When one of the classiest guys, and best players, in the game essentially says “he doesn’t listen”, you’ve got to wonder whether the personality issues aren’t on a different scale altogether than what we dealt with with Escobar. “He made a lot of changes in his life” is also a huge red flag.

  4. I don’t see any of that shit as a red flag. Seems wholly like a personality clash between LaRussa and Rasmus, but Pooooholes can’t exactly sell out his cunt manager, can he….

  5. The Pujols comment doesn’t worry me too much. I hate saying this because its an overused phrase but this is truly a case of a player who needs a change of scenery. When you have a manager publicly speaking out against a player its not hard to imagine that he’d get his back up around the clubhouse.. rightly or wrongly. The change in his life may just be the result of TLR publicly hatred of him for a couple years. I don’t think anyone knows for sure how much of the blame should be placed on Rasmus, but most people agree TLR is a complete asshole, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

  6. I thought Pujols comments were actually kind of refreshing. He admits that it didn’t work for Colby in St. Louis and that it had a lot to do with the fact he felt as if he was the young guy in the room being picked on. Sure he needs to learn to handle that, but this is hardly the first time the La Russa has been known to grind a young guy down. The same things were said with Chris Perez before he was dealt – that Tony was extremely ruthless on him and he left and has flourished in Cleveland.

  7. Also from the FanGraphs comments:

    “We would be greatful for Jeremy Hellickson or James Shields from the Rays. MAKE THE DEAL!”

    Not quite.

  8. Also, you’ve got a situation where you’re playing with one of the more insanely devoted fanbases in MLB. Maybe with a bit more anonymity, he’ll get better.

    Also – it’s rare that players don’t mature with time in any circumstances. A kid playing the first few years of big league ball is naturally going to let some of that go to his head because he thinks he’s untouchable. Now he’s got to prove himself, and that should help.

    Well, unless he hates the city because we’re full of socialists. Then we’re screwed.

  9. Hahaha, great call on the fangraphs comments. The conversation may very well have started with Lawrie, but it ended with Octavio Dotel and Corey Patterson. I”ll take that.

    I don’t get pumped up about the Pujols comments but (warning: totally talking out of my ass here) the Cards seem to have a much more older clubhouse and seem to be more “old school” (whatever that means) than most teams. The jays on the other hand have a young core and hopefully AA just makes it clear to Rasmus that he is in the long term plans for the club that should be great. I’m sure he will find some younger guys to bond with and if Bautista is dispensing advice to Snider, Lawrie, Arencibia, etc it probably won’t seem like he is being “picked on” as much.

    And really this is a great deal just on potential so even if he turns out to be a self-entitled asshole that doesn’t listen to anyone he will still probably be a 2 WAR CF and we can live with that and dump him at the end of his contract.

  10. To compete in the AL East, we need to go big or go home. None of the pieces we gave up would ever be a key part on a championship team, Rasmus has that potential.

    Who knows if he’ll ever reach it, but Toronto has done a good job of taking players that were in lousy situations with other teams and got great production out of them. If Brett Lawrie survived living in Las Vegas, I think we can deal with Colby Rasmus.

    Him and the Ford mayors are gonna get along great!

  11. @ Beyonder,

    For what it’s worth, Zaun was saying that he doesn’t buy the attitude issues with Rasmus because Larussa couldn’t get along with Rolen, who Zaun said was one of the classiest guys in the game.

  12. Pujols could have said all of the things above, re: a change of scenery will do him good, great potential, going to have a great career, ect. But he didn’t just say that. Instead, he said that Rasmus is not the same guy he was a year and a half ago, has made some (presumably not so wise) life changes, and instead of accepting help from people who were genuinely trying to assist him, got his back up and took the view that he was being picked on.

    If Rasmus won’t accept advice from someone as classy as Pujols, will he accept it from Jose? still love the deal, but just saying this may be a different kettle of fish than the Escobar situation.

    And La russa has been correct on some of these calls to ship talented young guys out of town. Thinking of Fernando tatis here.

  13. Several of the Braves players were saying similar things about Yunel Escobar when he was traded, too (and also rather ridiculously gave Alex Gonzalez a standing ovation when he walked into the clubhouse for the first time). I don’t put much stock in them.

    That paranoid, control freak TLR is to blame for this, as he was to blame for driving out JD Drew, Scott Rolen, Brendan Ryan, and many other talents over his career. If you get on his bad side, you’re out.

    A fresh start away from that media pressure cooker in St. Louis and away from coaches and fans that hated him irrationally is exactly what Rasmus needs.

  14. St. Louis reporter was on Blair show. Had things to say. Nothing overly worrisome.

    Anyway, you put someone in a situation where they’re happy and have an opportunity to succeed and good things happen. If you’re going to work everyday working for a douchebag, it wears on you. When you’re young it makes it tougher.

    On another note, Arencibia sure has his swing going. Eeeeeek!

  15. “Hahaha, great call on the fangraphs comments. The conversation may very well have started with Lawrie, but it ended with Octavio Dotel and Corey Patterson. I”ll take that.”

    Well said. Honestly, even a day later I’m sort of dumb struck that AA was able to pull this deal together. The fangraphs posters may not like Jays fans reveling in AA and his ninja like ability to make other GM’s look like idiots – but he’s making a solid case for why he might be the best at his job in the league. His ability to use peripheral prospects, money, and over-achieving veterans to land solid top tier talent is remarkable. The Escobar trade alone would stand up – but this is getting really good for Jays fans. I can’t wait for tonight’s game. I’ll be there and I hope the rest of the Jays fans will join in in showing Rasmus that Toronto will treat him a whole lot better than St Lou..

  16. I’m pleased with what AA has done so far, but I think it’s far too early to evaluate many of his moves (though I believe Marcum’s contract is up at the end of next year, so if Lawrie starts mashing for the Jays, we might get our first opportunity to do so then). Rasmus could absolutely flame out; Tyler Pastornicky could put up above-average production for half a decade in Atlanta. Only time will tell. But I think it’s fair to say Anthopoulous is taking smart risks–if these moves don’t end up working out, we won’t be left with a particularly bitter taste in our mouths, as, say, Mets fans surely were while watching Kazmir win games for Tampa.

    Is it fair to assume the PTBNLs in the Rasmus deals are all going to be low A-ball types whose potential impact on a major league club is years away? That’s pretty typical, correct?

  17. RE: the Pujols comments, I’m pretty sure that Chipper had the same take on Escobar, and look how that turned out.

    Pujols doesn’t want to rock the boat by calling out his manager, but he also doesn’t want Rasmus to look like the bad guy, so he is alluding to something here without getting anyone in trouble.

  18. @Fullmer Fan even better is the last comment:

    “Yeah i guess the convo starts with Lawri-o wait… Cory Patterson.”

  19. “I’m pleased with what AA has done so far, but I think it’s far too early to evaluate many of his moves . . .”

    If he doesn’t get the advantage of two years’ hindsight to evaluate a trade, why should you? If you consider yourself worthy of evaluating his trades, you need to make up your mind now.

  20. Because AA has far more tools at his disposal than Matt does. It is Alex Anthopoulis’s job to evaluate what will happen in the future.

    I know the point is to evaluate the process, not the results, but as the sample size gets larger it is the results that determine what the best process is. We don’t know whether making a lot of moves that acquire high ceiling players but also have high risk is the best way to run a team. It seems to be a good strategy, but ultimately the percentage of those moves that work and the percentage that blow up in his face is unknown.

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