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Rays, Red Sox made offers for Colby Rasmus

Jul 27, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Colby Rasmus Getty Images

That according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss, who has been on top of the Colby Rasmus rumors since they started.

Strauss reports that the Cardinals turned down the Rays’ offer of right-hander Jeff Niemann and reliever J.P. Howell for Rasmus and that they instead held out for either James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson.

Which sounds about right.  Niemann has been on a nice roll lately, having allowed four earned runs in his last four starts.  However, he’s battled arm problems the last two years and he certainly can’t match Edwin Jackson when it comes to stuff.  Howell, a top-notch lefty reliever a couple of years ago, missed 2010 and has a 9.17 ERA in 17 2/3 innings this year since returning from shoulder surgery.

One would think something could have been worked out if the Rays were especially motivated.  The Cardinals may not have had any great desire for B.J. Upton, but he could have been flipped to a third team for someone the Rays could have used here.  Also, the Rays could have parted with Kyle Farnsworth, who has been a more dominant right-hander out of the pen than Octavio Dotel this year.

Strauss doesn’t know what the Red Sox offered, but it’s safe to assume Boston’s proposal was more prospect based, while the Cardinals are very much in win-now mode.  Rasmus would have stepped in as the new long-term right fielder for the Red Sox, making Josh Reddick expendable.  Reddick, though, fits a lot better in right field than in center, so he may not have been of a whole lot of help to St. Louis right away.

What is interesting here is that the new-school GMs seemed to be much more interested in Rasmus than the old-school ones, who may have been putting a lot more weight into the talk of his attitude problems and lack of coachability.  The Blue Jays, Rays and Red Sox are all run by much more sabermetrically inclined GMs, and while the White Sox did reportedly make a run at Rasmus, using Jackson and Matt Thornton, GM Kenny Williams eventually decided not to pay what seemed to be a very fair price for the 24-year-old center fielder.

  1. hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    This says all you need to know about Colby Rasmuss. The Rays were only willing to give up their 5th starter who is approaching 30 and has been on and off the DL the last year, and a free agent to be with a +9 ERA. Arguably the best GM in baseball wouldn’t give up his 2 most expendable players.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM

      Uhh, no. Friedman was very willing to give up those two. It was Shields and Hellickson he wouldn’t give up.

      • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 7:20 PM

        Yeah I misspoke in the last sentence. Change “wouldn’t give up” to “would only give up”. Other than that, what I said is absolutely true. Very few better future talent evaluators in the game.

    • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:57 PM

      Wow. 12 thumbs down, none up. Was my statement that foolish? Friedman exclusively trades for prospects, and has a lot of expendable veterans. If he wanted him, he’d have gotten him. They have 8 major league ready starters, and he would only give up the shittiest of the bunch. He didn’t want him.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 27, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        “Didn’t want him,” is a vast vast oversimplification, my friend. Maybe Friedman valued his pieces more highly than the Cards did. Or maybe the pieces he was offering weren’t a good fit for the Cards in terms of roster flexibility or contract length or any number of things. Or maybe they would have found a middle ground between Niemann and Shields eventually, but the Cards found an offer they liked now, so took it.

        There’s a lot we don’t know, and you can’t really boil it down to, “It should tell you all you need to know about Rasmus that my team didn’t want him.” Which just sounds like the fox that claims the grapes he didn’t get were probably sour anyway. (I think it’s the fox. Been a while since I read Aesop.)

      • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 9:56 PM

        From what I have been told, the Rays offered a choice of Niemann, Wade Davis, or Alex Cobb, along with JP Howell. Niemann has been a disappointment likely because of his arm troubles. Davis has arm troubles and a pretty big contract, and Cobb is their 16th best prospect. They offered very little to fill a huge need in a weak lineup in comparison to what they had in their arsenal. They offered nothing of true value. I feel fairly secure in saying they didn’t really want him.

  2. paperlions - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    If the Cardinals are in win now mode, can someone explain how starting Descalso, Theriot, Punto, and Schumaker in the same lineup, with Descalso and Theriot batting 1 and 2 is supposed to accomplish winning? None of those guys is a league average hitter and two of them can’t play defense either. Ugh. Bud Norris very well may throw no-hit ball for 7 innings again tonight.

    • saints97 - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:27 PM

      Perhaps if they want to win now, they shouldn’t trade one of only three healthy outfielders.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Jul 27, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    And the Red Sox and Rays are thanking God they didn’t meet the Cardinals demands for Rasmus and a parent to be named later,,

    Tony Rasmus is at again, good luck Toronto…–la-russa

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 27, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      Which Tony is twisting the truth just a tad? In reality it doesn’t matter. Rasmus needed a new start and will get one in Toronto.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM


        And the Cards needed him out of their clubhouse yesterday.

        Addition by subtraction for the club and a fresh start for the kid.

        I think both parties involved are breathing easier.

      • paperlions - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:38 PM

        I think most Cardinal fans would have preferred getting LaRussa out of the club house last year.

        Besides starting a horrible lineup full of scrap but short on talent tonight, LaRussa gave away extra outs with freaking sacrifice bunts when there are no outs.

    • paperlions - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:43 PM

      I didn’t read anything said by Tony Rasmus in that article that is not true. Every single thing he said about LaRussa and how LaRussa has treated Colby even before he made the MLB club is 100% correct.

      Good luck Colby, I’ll still root for you just like I still root for Ludwick and Ryan (two other guys that were traded in part because they didn’t get along with LaRussa).

      • cintiphil - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        I followed on the two players you happened to say they couldn’t get along with Tony LaRussa. It seems that performance had a little to do with trading Ryan, even though his defense is great. How is he doing with his new team? As far as Ludwick is concerned, I hear that he would come back in a minute. Where do you get the “facts” you quote?

        Anyway, this story just proves the contention that the cards GM got as much as he could in the trade. No one else would give him more, and at least one team didn’t even really want him and daddy.

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