Posted by D-Dizzle
Ok, so it has been around the baseball news recently that several teams will pursue the center fielder Colby Rasmus. Well great, but guess what? He won’t be cheap. In fact, it will probably take an overwhelming package for the Cardinals to even move him in the first place. Let’s begin there, shall we?
1. The Cardinals have no real successor to Rasmus in center field. If they move him, that just opens up another hole in a lineup that already has holes at third base, shortstop, and second base.
2. Rasmus is a cost-controlled player. This isn’t a one year or 1.5 year rental like we’ve seen with some other recent blockbuster caliber trades. he has *4* years of team control remaining with still one year to go until he reaches arbitration. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means even the small market teams with budget constraints will be in on Rasmus, thus driving the price up even more.
3. Recently, FanGraphs did a piece on players who they feel have the most trade value. Note, that isn’t a list of the best players in that order, rather they take everything into consideration (age, contract status, performance, project performance, etc). Rasmus was rated at #14, just ahead of Robinson Cano and behind David Wright. Granted, this list was made during the season and some of these can be debated, but I think for the most part, it is a pretty accurate listing.
4. My favorite, the UPSIDE. Quick, tell me one other center fielder in NL this season with a higher OPS than Colby Rasmus. Too late, The correct answer? There is none. Rasmus had the highest OPS among all center fielders in baseball this season. He turned 24 during the season and still has lots of developing to do still. Science even shows that the human brain doesn’t stop developing until the age of 25 for most males. Other center fielders to have an OPS of .850 or better at age 23/24 recently: Grady Sizemore, Carlos Beltran, Ken Griffey Jr, Jim Edmonds, Andruw Jones, and Vernon Wells. Add in the fact he is also a 5-tool player. In fact, in 2008, baseball America rated him as the #3 best prospect in all of baseball, and in 2007, had him at #5. Some people are saying well we don’t want to give up Kyle Drabek, Julio Teheran, Travis Snider, etc because they have too much upside or are untouchable or whatever the reason maybe. Well, guess what? That was Rasmus just a few years ago. Now, he has done something that a small number of super-prospects do, live up to their hype (to an extent, as I have said, still some developing to do).
5. Competition. That’s right folks, there isn’t going to be just one or two teams eying him. Even the small market teams like the Royals to the big market teams like the Red Sox will show interest in him if he is available. The sky’s the limit. Everyone can use a guy like him. Small market teams with budget problems can fit him in their plans and large markets with holes in the outfield will show interest as well. That means one very important thing: BIDDING WAR.
It would be difficult to set an exact value on him because there just have not been many Rasmus-type players traded in recent memory. It is also unclear if the Cardinals would be seeking players already on a team’s MLB roster, prospects, or a mix of the two. However one thing is for sure, he won’t be cheap.
Here are some trade proposals that I think would fit the bill:
To the Yankees for: Brett Gardner, Manny Banuelos
To the Braves for: Craig Kimbrel, Arodys Vizcaino, Omar Infante (one year until free agency)
To the Blue Jays for: Shaun Marcum, Zach Stewart
To the Marlins for: Mike Stanton straight up
I think you can get a good feel for his value with these somewhat generic proposals.