Reaction Around Baseball To The Colby Rasmus Trade
Cardinals fans are all a-twitter about today’s blockbuster three-team deal that sent Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays for Edwin Jackson and some other pitching help. It’s a clear signal that the team intends to win this year, and it was a bold move that mortgaged some of the future for a championship now.
With Kyle and I have been in (general) support of this trade, many other analysts around baseball have been calling out the Cardinals for their short-sighted manuevers. Here’s a sampling from some of the biggest talking heads:
Buster Olney: “Talent for talent, this is really a great deal for Toronto.”
Danny Knobler: “I’m wondering if the Cardinals just made the move that puts them in position to win the National League Central.”
Dan Moore: “For the remainder of 2011 the St. Louis Cardinals’ difficult-to-fathom trade of Colby Rasmus will depend on Edwin Jackson’s performance in the Cardinals’ rotation and the way their beleaguered bullpen reacts to an infusion of last year’s set-up man, Kyle McClellan, and Octavio Dotel as well as LOOGY Mark Rzepczynski. But in 2012, with Jackson a free agent and Dotel another year older, the future of the trade will hinge on whether or not Marc Rzepczynski is returned to the rotation, where he showed flashes of excellence in two half-seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays … But if this trade is going to be anything but a long-term disaster for the Cardinals, they’d be wise to give him a long look as a starter in Spring Training.”
Keith Law: “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.”
Tim Dierkes: “Though there are eight players in this deal, it mostly boils down to the Cardinals renting Jackson and Dotel and getting Rzepczynski long-term in exchange for Rasmus’ three arbitration years. It’s hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.”
Jack Moore: “All-in-all, as long as Tony La Russa doesn’t start doling out starts in center field to Corey Patterson (and really, who knows with that), the Cardinals shouldn’t be any worse off for 2011 with this trade, and if Edwin Jackson’s results start to line up with his peripherals from this season, they could improve. Long-term, with Jackson departing after the season and Colby Rasmus under team control for the next three years, the Cardinals appear to take a hit, but by design. As the aforementioned story presented, 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.”
Eric Karabell: “The Cardinals certainly make a statement with the Rasmus trade, but it seems like a short-sighted one.”
Hardball Talk: “I just can’t believe that the Cardinals, even if they felt that they had to move him, couldn’t get more for Rasmus. A legitimate No. 2 starter or an All-Star-caliber middle infielder. They gave up a terrific long-term property without getting a real difference-maker in return. There’s the chance that Jackson will step it up under Dave Duncan’s tutelage, but he was working under a great pitching coach in Chicago and was just as maddening as usual. I do like Rzep, both as a reliever now and maybe as a starter next year. He’s under control through 2015, and he should be a nice asset for years.
But that’s not enough of a haul for Rasmus. If they wanted Dotel, he would have been easy enough to pick up in a separate deal. Corey Patterson? Really? They couldn’t even get the Jays to part with Rajai Davis instead? Davis is certainly expendable enough with Rasmus’ arrival, and his right-handed bat makes far more sense for the Cardinals. Jon Jay, who will replace Rasmus as the team’s primary center fielder, is a left-handed hitter, just like Patterson.”
And the fans speak out as well:
Reds Fan: The Cards dealt a good young hitter for a couple of middle or lower pitchers. That move may well ensure them a spot in the playoffs, but the guys they picked up are NOT the kind of players who will elevate your chances of WINNING the playoffs…at least not much. They translate to regular season wins but not playoff wins. This is a risky gambit. If they win the World Series this year, then it was the right move. If they just get to the playoffs but fall short of the big trophy, then I think they’ll regret giving up on Rasmus.
Brewers Fan: The Cardinals did what they needed to do to help in the short run. They definitely plugged some pitching holes, both in their rotation and bullpen. It puts pressure on the Brewers to address some of their own holes.
Brewers Fan: I don’t think the Cards adding a another decent SP is a good thing for the Brewers, but I guess some people do. I would of much rather seen him go to somebody else besides the Cards.
Brewers Fan: Not sure what the Cards were thinking here. Edwin Jackson scares no one. I’ve always liked Rasmus. Looks like he created enough of a stink to get jettisoned out of there. I would probably do the same if I was forced to play under La Russa.
Reds Fan: This makes the Cardinals (arguably) a tiny bit better in the present and (definitely) way worse into the future. All the more reason for the Reds to sell and play for next year. Really a horrible trade for the Cards.
Reds Fan: Rasmus is a Reds killer. Good riddance.