Colby Rasmus Rumors
9:51pm: Manager Tony La Russa told KSDK TV-5 in St. Louis that Rasmus "doesn't listen" to Cardinals coaches, as Austin Laymance and Matthew Leach explain at MLB.com. "That's why he gets in these funks, in my opinion," La Russa said.
1:41pm: Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio today that nothing has changed since he told Bowden at the All-Star game that he was not shopping Rasmus (Twitter link).
12:04pm: An AL official told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the Cardinals "are definitely shopping" center fielder Colby Rasmus, despite public denials. The official says the Cards "are asking for a ton." Danny Knobler of CBS Sports agrees, tweeting that the Cards are shopping Rasmus widely. Knobler notes that the Nationals had a scout in St. Louis last night.
The White Sox and Rays have also been linked to Rasmus, but earlier this month GM John Mozeliak said a trade is "highly unlikely." The Mariners have also inquired, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and Knobler notes that the Giants have watched Rasmus as a possible Carlos Beltran backup plan.
Even in a down year, the 24-year-old Rasmus is hitting .245/.332/.421 on the season. He's under team control through 2014.
My apologies for an earlier error in which I erroneously attributed the "asking for a ton" quote to the Rays and B.J. Upton.
MONDAY: White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that the report was not entirely accurate. "That, as reported, is incorrect," Williams said, without denying its validity outright (Twitter link).
SUNDAY: Despite publicly insisting they don't intend to trade Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals have engaged in discussions with the White Sox about the outfielder, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss says talks between the two teams have "accelerated" within the last few days.
According to Strauss, Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton are among the players who could interest the Cardinals. The Cards would also be looking for minor league talent from the White Sox, and a third team "may be sought to facilitate a deal."
Saturday afternoon linkage..
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox and White Sox have been scouting each other a lot in the past week, and it's not just for the upcoming series between the two. Speculation here (from Steve Adams), but both Edwin Jackson and Carlos Quentin were rumored to be potential White Sox trade chips earlier today, and both could help in Boston.
- Phillies prospect Brody Colvin left last night's start because of a groin injury, not because of anything trade-related, tweets FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean says that his list of untouchables list is different than public perception, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Schulman wonders aloud if this means that Zack Wheeler might not be an untouchable.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has been making more calls than any other GM, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The Cardinals aren't looking to move Colby Rasmus but they're exploring every possible way to improve, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Steve Adams also contributed to this post.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes that the Braves are the frontrunners for Carlos Beltran right now thanks to their assortment of pitching prospects, such as left-hander Mike Minor (Twitter link). Click here for more details on Beltran and keep reading for more of Olney's rumors:
- General managers tell Olney that it's hard to obtain value for right-handed relievers now, since the market is flooded (Twitter link).
- Some teams are convinced that the Blue Jays’ interest in Heath Bell revolves around the reliever's Type A status, according to Olney (on Twitter). Bell projects as one of the top rated free agent relievers under the Elias free agent rankings.
- Olney reports that some rival executives believe the Cardinals would trade Colby Rasmus despite the fact that GM John Mozeliak says his center fielder is staying put (Twitter link).
The Rays, Nationals and Red Sox are among the teams that called the Cardinals about Colby Rasmus, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. However, GM John Mozeliak says he's "not shopping" his center fielder and insists that a deal remains "highly unlikely" (Twitter link).
Rasmus, who is arbitration eligible for the first time after the season, has a .241/.326/.404 line with nine home runs in 369 plate appearances this year. His 2012 salary will reach seven figures through arbitration and he's under team control through 2014.
The Nationals are listening on top relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but such a trade would have to fill a specific long-term need such as center field. Teams are calling on Storen, Clippard, and Todd Coffey.
Potential center field targets for Washington include B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, and Denard Span, writes Rosenthal. He believes that a reliever alone probably would not bring back a center fielder, but the Nats could also trade shortstop Ian Desmond since some club officials would like to move Danny Espinosa to shortstop.
Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard and Desmond through '15. Desmond would be an interesting name for teams seeking shortstop help, though he's limped to a .226/.269/.311 line in 361 plate appearances this year.
The Nationals also have starting pitching to spare, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that they will move Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez, and Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny is a bit of a surprise, as he's got strong strikeout and walk rates and is under team control through 2013.
The NL Central lead seems to change hands on a daily basis, meaning we can expect plenty of trade talk over the next two weeks as the Brewers, Cardinals, Pirates, and Reds attempt to gain an edge in a tight race. Here's the latest from out of the division:
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry has "no interest" in moving Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster this season, tweets Peter Gammons of MLB.com.
- New Astros ownership would like to cut payroll to $60MM, according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (via Twitter). As such, Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers are "being shopped," though Houston will likely hang on to Hunter Pence.
- Discussing those three Houston trade candidates, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Astros would have to be "completely blown away" to move Pence, but Myers is very much in play, and there could be a decent market for him. Rodriguez falls somewhere in between - the Astros have fielded plenty of inquires, but it would take a big package to get a deal done.
- Heyman thinks that Jamey Carroll would be a good addition for the Brewers (Twitter link).
- Colby Rasmus' father confirmed to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his son has requested a trade in the past. Strauss breaks down some of the reasons why the Cardinals and Rasmus seem to have trouble seeing eye to eye.
The Rays and Cardinals had serious talks about a trade that would have sent Colby Rasmus to Tampa Bay last year, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). The center fielder appeared to request a trade last summer, though he later denied doing so.
The Cardinals might be willing to move Rasmus now, though Strauss and colleague Bernie Miklasz suggest a deal is unlikely. Rasmus is the most attractive trade chip GM John Mozeliak has, but Miklasz expects the Cardinals and their center fielder to be “stuck with each other” for a while.
The Cardinals would most covet Jeremy Hellickson in a trade, according to Strauss. However, Tampa Bay doesn't necessarily covet Rasmus, especially at that price. Rays center fielder B.J. Upton homered in three of five games leading up to the All-Star break and his .239/.325/.427 line resembles Rasmus' .246/.329/.413 line.
On this date three years ago, the newly acquired C.C. Sabathia homered and pitched a complete game to help the Brewers beat the Reds 3-2. The Brewers' latest acquisition, Francisco Rodriguez, probably won't get too many chances to swing the bat this summer, but he could help Milwaukee reach the playoffs again...
- Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg told ESPN Chicago's "The Waddle & Silvy Show" that he wants to manage in the Major Leagues and would consider returning to Chicago if the Cubs asked him to manage at some point. Sandberg, who was a candidate for the Cubs' managerial opening over the winter, now manages Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate. ESPNChicago.com has highlights from the conversation.
- The Pirates announced that they have signed fourth round pick Colten Brewer and eighth round pick Jason Creasy. Now that they've signed the pair of high school right-handers, Pittsburgh has locked up 16 players from last month's draft.
- The Rockies like Colby Rasmus, but don't match up well with the Cardinals on a potential trade, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Cardinals might be willing to trade Rasmus, who ranks 41st on Dave Cameron's annual list of players with the most trade value at FanGraphs.com.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said in a chat today that the Cardinals would most covet Jeremy Hellickson in a potential trade involving Rasmus and the Rays.
The Cardinals "might reconsider [their] stance" on trading center fielder Colby Rasmus, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He adds that GM John Mozeliak "would have to acquire a significant return for Rasmus but may be willing to plumb long-standing interest from the pitching-rich Tampa Bay Rays."
Rasmus, 24, is showing "only halting development" in Strauss' opinion. He's hitting .246/.329/.413 with nine home runs in 360 plate appearances this season. That's solid for a center fielder, but a decline from last year's numbers. Defensively, Rasmus put up a strong UZR in '09 but has been below-average in over 1,800 center field innings since then. If Rasmus were to be traded, Jon Jay would become the Cardinals' starting center fielder.
Even with his stock slightly down, Rasmus would be a hot commodity on the trade market. I can see why he'd interest the Rays, who control center fielder B.J. Upton through 2012 but could control Rasmus through '14. Rasmus could jump past $3MM in arbitration next year against perhaps $7MM for Upton. Upton could be moved in a separate deal, though the Nationals would probably be interested in both center fielders. It'd be a big win for the Cardinals to somehow pry James Shields loose in a Rasmus deal, but with Shields' ace performance and his contract offering options through '14, a direct swap doesn't seem to benefit Tampa Bay enough.