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Blue Jays shopping Colby Rasmus

Dec 11, 2013, 12:06 AM EDT

colby rasmus getty Getty Images

Bob Elliott cuts to the chase in the Toronto Sun:

Colby Rasmus is on the market and has been offered to two teams by the Blue Jays for starting pitching.

Toronto probably wants a good, cost-controlled starter in return for the 27-year-old Rasmus, who had an .840 OPS, 22 homers and 66 RBI in 118 games this summer. He’s a strong defensive center fielder and only expected to get around $6.5 million in salary arbitration for 2014.

Rasmus will be a free agent after the 2014 season and the Jays obviously aren’t sure they can sign him to a long-term extension. So they may as well make an upgrade at an area of great need — the rotation.

The Blue Jays ranked ninth in the majors in runs scored in 2013. They ranked 25th in runs allowed.

  1. sfp311 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    On one hand this makes complete sense because his value will probably never be higher, coming off the best season of his career. On the other hand, Gose is not ready to take over CF full-time so it would require another trade or signing to fill the void in CF.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    “He’s a strong defensive center fielder”?

    This statement is exactly why defensive metrics are voodoo.

    Raz takes terrible routes, misplay bounces, throws to the wrong bases, misses cut off men and picks more dandelions than Timmy Lupus.

    • mayorrobford - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      I find infielder defensive metrics very good, but when it comes to outfielders, they miss a ton.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:48 AM

        Nah, range factors still need an enormous amount of improvement. Too many variables, much like the BABIP.

      • mayorrobford - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        You’re completely out to lunch if you think range factors for infielders “need an enormous amount of improvement”. I’d go as far as saying, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Your moniker is indicative of your comment. Defensive metrics are in their infancy, and range factors continue to be their Waterloo. There are so many variable that are need to accurately measure defensive performance that one might wonder if they will ever be better than a seriously trained eye. But that should not stop them from trying, but no team currently relies solely on statistical numbers to evaluate defense, at least I hope not.

        They suffer from: a subjective format, that is self-defeating in its suggestive improvement, far too few camera angles, no pre-struck data, limited or non-existent ball velocity, deviance, rotational direction, or air flight change, nor do they include playing surface data, including weather, field condition, field concentration, (things like grass depth, height, dampness, or kind), or playing surface substance, dirt make-up and alterations, fail miserably at incorporating the multiple types of ground ball choices, severely underestimate the kinds of ball flights, basically ignore data of runner influences, situational anticipation, other defensive players influence and about a thousand other variables, I have time to mention. So carry on, with you blind allegiance to a worthy but extra-ordinarily nascent exercise.

      • mayorrobford - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        What an amazing amount of blathering and crap spewing. “dirt-make-up”? LMAO seriously?

        Yaaaaa good luck with all that junk you just posted that you will never see in your lifetime. You’re yammering about a stat that will never be perfect, but work just fine with infielders.

        Rather than writing your science fiction why don’t you go out and find an infield examples where a know poor infielder scores well over a 3 year period.

        “extra-ordinarily nascent exercise” LMAO what a douche you have confirmed yourself to be

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        All the prideful boasting about the wonderful Canadian education system, and then this. What a setback.

      • mayorrobford - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        “it’s not a good enough stat for me, it doesn’t take into consideration how long the sun has been on the infield grass, therefore we down know the humidity factor of the grass”

        Shut up douche, jesus

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Justin Bieber, Ted Cruz, Rob Ford, and now this. Have you guys gone into a slump north of the border? You are making it tough for me to champion the land north of the 48th.

      • mayorrobford - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        ” rotational direction, or air flight change” LMAO again what a massive douche

    • rdillon99 - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM

      You’ve obviously not been watching the same Colby Rasmus that I’ve been watching … because the Colby Rasmus that I’ve been watching does none of those things. His good defense in CF is confirmed by the defensive metrics.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM

        Then the Colby Rasmus you are watching isn’t the one in the Major Leagues.

    • paperlions - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      Nah, like his hitting, Rasmus’ defense varies greatly through time…appearing to depend greatly on his current level of interest in playing baseball. There were times with the Cardinals when his defense was fantastic, and times when it was an unmitigated disaster.

    • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      Yeah, I don’t see as many of his games as I used to but sometime mid-to-late-summer, I tuned in to watch a Toronto game. Early in the game a short fly ball to center that most CFs would have run under, Colby pulled up short letting the ball bounce, but he got too close to the ball, and it bounced over his head, sending the runner on first home. He then fired home allowing the runner to advance to second.

      Innings later on a deep fly ball to left-center he shied away from the ball allowing it to land two feet from the fence, on the warning track, a ball a good center fielder would have tracked down. After it one-hopped the wall Rasmus fired the cut-off throw over the short stops head allowing the runner to score all the way from first.

      It was at that time I dismissed all the rumors I had heard about his “vastly improved defense”, and quietly thanked the Baseball gods that he was no longer a Cardinal. He has one of the lowest Baseball IQs of any player I have ever witnessed. And all that talent wasted.

      • rdillon99 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        So, you’ve rejected what the advanced defensive metrics tells us as well as what people who regularly watch him tells you based upon your sample size of one game? Okay then… carry on.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        First off, I’ve watched way more Colby Rasmus games than you. Second, defensive metrics still suck. Third, they are particularly bad when it comes to mental errors. Fourth, the anecdote referred to one game, I watched numerous others. Fifth, the Blue Jays aren’t shopping him for nothing. Sixth, I know more than you.

  3. jakefishh - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    I definitely wouldnt say hes a strong defensive center fielder. I have no idea where you came up with that. Do you think they are looking for starting pitching already in the majors or would they give him up for prospects that could meet their needs? He’d be a great guy to have in just about any situation. If a Billy Butler deal goes down in KC, do you think they’d be in the running? We have a surplus of young arms that Dayton Moore would be willing to deal. Chris Dwyer, Miguel Almonte, Sam Selman, John Lamb, and Jason Adam to name a few. I think the Royals need to be buyers this year. We have the talent, we just need to be aggressive. Whether it be keeping Billy Butler, getting Rasmus, Infante, or Dominic Brown. We already missed out on Beltran, which breaks my heart. We got Aoki to lessen the blow though. Billy is turning into a OBP machine but his ability on the basepaths is that of a slug. We either need him to get some pop or get some off the market. I think Rasmus or Brown would be perfect for that. Now a market for Butler needs to arise.

  4. cur68 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    I watched Rasmus a lot last season. I’d say he was a strong defensive player LAST SEASON. He showed tremendous range and I don’t recall any bad routes or bad throws. I think its fair to say I’m his harshest critic, too. Defensive metrics tend to be way more problematic than offensive but with UZR now on the scene they are a lot better than they used to be. With the usual caveat about sample size and all that, Rasmus put up a pretty damn nice 11.2 last season. While you really need ~3 years of data to truly know about a guy, I think we can say that he’s MUCH improved. Given his wOBA of .365 (which is very good), The Razzer is finally showing some manifestation of that promise he had when he was a rookie.

    I’m against trading him. He was too good a bat and a fielder last season. The Beav don’t really have anyone as good to take over from him. However if they can pry Scherzer loose with him (@pipedream)…DO IT ANTHOPOLOUS!

    • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM

      I think for centerfielders, defensive metrics are worthless. I’m a SABR lover at heart too. However, like you said, you need as much data as possible to quantify his defensive prowess, and 3 years is the industry standard. However, a player’s defense and speed naturally regress every year that he gets older. So we can say “Rasmus’ 2010-2013 defense was X much better than the average centerfielder”, but we can’t say “Rasmus is currently….” or even better “Rasmus will be…”, because he now reacts slower and runs slower than he did last year, and the year before, and the year before.

      It gives us hindsight, but that’s about it. It serves no purpose in determining how good a speedy outfielder will be defensively next year, and that is ultimately the purpose of sabermetrics, to determine future value.

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      He will be available at a discount in the Colby Rasmus section of your local Publix Supermarket all this week. Purchase of a Colby Rasmus will get you a discount coupon for a bag of Rachel Ray Nutrish dog food.

      Also, check out the big cans of Chock Full ‘O Nuts coffee for $6.99! Socialism must have come to Costa Rica and San Salvador.

  5. weaselpuppy - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    Scherzer. For Rasmus…..

    How do you say “get off the crack” in Canadian?

    • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      I’m sure there is a mayor who would know that answer.

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Only when He’s in a drunken stupor though.

      • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        There’s nothing like sitting down at Caplansky’s on a cold Toronto afternoon and wolfing a nice hot cracked meat sandwich.

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Descendez de la poutine.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        I still haven’t tried this delicacy. Last time I was in Boise I tried to order it at my favorite Alehouse, but they were out. I often make my own fries, any good recipe for the “sauce”?

      • quincy1959 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Done differently in different places. Usually good fries, good gravy, and cheese curds (sometimes called squeaky cheese) melted on top. At least in my part of the world, no sauce. But I have had it with fried onions and shrooms and even Ketchup (Catsup). Cheddar, Mozza, thin gravy or soggy fries can ruin it.

  6. jre80 - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Lol. No kiddin. I think it’s just “get off the crack”

  7. noslenisnelson - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    Reblogged this on Chatting with Nelson.

  8. quincy1959 - Dec 11, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    AA has only certain trade chips that he can move without creating a big hole to fill. He has a surplus of starting pitchers coming back from DL and guys in the pen with no options, so gotta move a couple of them. With the likelyhood of untradable Cabrera moving to first, he has Lind or EE. Assuming Pilar is ready for LF, to replace Cabrera, and at least defensively Gose ready for CF, that means likely Sierra or Rasmus can be moved. Trading any of these chips will not upset the balance on the team. So these are his chips when he wants to look for pitching and not involve prospects.

    Rasmus is a big improvement from a year ago. Both at bat and in the field. His value is up. AA might not want to trade him but probably asked about him alot. Contract not a major issue as much less than many others. Other than EE maybe his best trade chip of what makes sense. If he gets moved, watch AA get involved in Kemp discussions.

    Watch for him to get moved to a team that can’t afford Choo or fails to get him. But only as part of a package on a pitching upgrade.

    • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      The Reds?

      • quincy1959 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        A month ago I might have said as part of a Phillips/Bailey package. Rasmus probably a nice alternative to Choo. Add a couple of Jays pitchers and probably a prospect depending if money moved. I thought Cincy a nice fit. Guessing Reds wanted both Stroman and Sanchez in a package. Deal less likely when Hanigan got moved as I thought he might be part of it all.

        Silly season not over. Might still be something with the Reds yet after the Yanks and Red Sox get their 2Bs. Some nice pieces that would make sense to both clubs.

  9. proudlycanadian - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Not sure what to make of this story. (1) The Jays do not tell Elliott what they are doing. (2) About a month ago he claimed that the Jays were going to trade with the Angels for a catcher. He was wrong on that one! (3) Last year, he did an extensive series on which experienced manager would be a fit for the Jays and completely missed Gibbons.

    I am not going to claim that he makes things up; however, he quite often adds 1 and 1 and get the wrong conclusion. The Jays have made it clear that they would like to trade for a starting pitcher. Certainly, Goss can play CF; however, at this stage in his career, Gose is just not as good as Rasmus. Elliott does work his sources in other cities; so, it is possible that other teams have asked about Rasmus, as well as almost every other player on the team. AA says that nobody is untouchable, so he will listen even if he is very unlikely to trade a player. So far, Elliott and the Toronto media have yet to successfully predict any of AA’s trades in advance. Therefore the odds that the Jays would trade Rasmus are probably slim.

    • paperlions - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      First, the Jays wouldn’t have to talk to him, because, you know, the other teams involved in the discussions would be familiar with what had been offered to them.

      Second, you continue to act like every trade rumor that doesn’t come to fruition was wrong or fabricated. In all likelihood, far less than 10% of trade discussions (and probably about that for discussions with agents about FAs) result in a transactions….that doesn’t mean the other 90% didn’t happen, just that they didn’t result in a trade or signing.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        So you believe almost everything that you read! Did you believe the story that the Jays were willing to trade Bautista for what was essentially a bag of used baseballs?

        There is a way too much BS reported in the silly season. Sometimes it is completely made up. There is a lot of posturing by teams that is complete hot air designed to give the impression that they are about to do something. Sometimes a GM from one team gives a reporter information about another team that may or may not be true. Most deals and signings are not leaked to the press in advance.

    • rdillon99 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      I don’t think that Elliott can be faulted for not profiling Gibbons as a potential manager at the end of last season. No one could have seen that coming… In the end, (if memory serves) it was Elliott who initially broke the news that Gibbons would be hired as the team’s manager.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:32 AM

        He went through a long list of experienced managers and forgot to include Gibbons, even though he fit the criteria he was looking for and had a better record than the managers Elliott wrote about. Elliott can do a lot of research prior to making a conclusion and printing it. Unfortunately, far too many of his conclusions are wrong.

  10. anth34 - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Colby was sick last year. He is a good cf but his throws are erratic sometimes. He is so much better than Gose. They better get a great deal for him. The hair alone is worth it.

    • ptfu - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      His HARP (Hair Above Replacement Player) is off the charts!

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        Hair today, gone tomorrow, or as Craig calls it his late twenties.

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