Rasmus Denies Making Trade Request

8:20pm: Rasmus denied making a trade request earlier this season, according to B.J. Rains of FoxSportsMidwest.com.

"I never did that,” said Rasmus following today's game. "I don’t know where that’s coming from. I just want to play baseball and have fun…I love being here. I love the fans. I’m moving forward and just trying to play hard and I’m happy we won today."

Tony La Russa also addressed the topic in today's post-game press conference.  The manager insisted that he doesn't have an issue with Rasmus and that he will see significant playing time down the stretch.

2:04pm: Pujols had even more to say on the matter, writes Passan.

“If he doesn’t want to be here next year, we need to figure out a way to get him out of here and find somebody that wants to be here and play,” said the nine-time All-Star. “That’s a reality.

“That’ll show you right there a young player that doesn’t respect what he’s got,” Pujols added. “He needs to find out the talent and ability that he has and pretty much keep his mouth shut and play the game. Let the organization make those decisions, not himself.”

1:55pm: First baseman Albert Pujols has weighed in on the situation, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).

"We need to figure out a way to get him out of here," said the nine-time All-Star.

1:26pm: Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa confirmed that center fielder Colby Rasmus has requested a trade, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  However, La Russa declined to delve much deeper into the matter with reporters.

"What do you want me to say? Ask Colby. Just ask Colby," said the manager. "He can handle it however he wants to handle it. He's capable of explaining himself and what he was thinking at the time."

Despite La Russa's suggestion, Rasmus would not confirm his trade request before taking the field against the Reds this afternoon.  He also declined to say whether he hoped to remain with the club next season.  La Russa seems to think that the center fielder has had a change of heart.

"I think he's thinking probably the grass is not greener other places and that this is a good situation, a great organization, teammates, everything. That's what I think. You can ask him," said La Russa, who also said that the outfielder made a similar request in his rookie season.

Rasmus came to GM John Mozeliak with his request during the Cards' July 23-25 series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, according to a source familiar with the situation.  After the center fielder arrived late to the park, La Russa threatened to option him to Triple-A in a closed door meeting.  However, when talking to Rasmus, Mozeliak assured him that he would be staying put. 

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