Trade Option: Colby Rasmus – Phillies Nation
2010-11 Free Agency

Trade Option: Colby Rasmus

Recently, the Cardinals made it clear that they were not trading Colby Rasmus, their 24-year old centerfielder oozing with star potential. With good reason, St. Louis wanted to keep the young, cheap player after he hit 23 home runs and drove in 66 runs a year ago. As of yesterday, his name is back out on the rumor mill.

A contentious relationship with manager Tony LaRussa led to Rasmus becoming part of the rumors around the trade deadline this past summer, however, nothing came of it. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted yesterday that three contending clubs could be angling to make a play for the talented outfielder. Could the Phillies be one of those teams with the impending loss of Jayson Werth?

Rasmus made just $418,000 in 2010 and has another season ahead of him before he even hits arbitration. For his caliber of play, he’s as cheap as they come. On the flip side, he’ll cost a pretty penny on prospects and it would have to be worth the Cardinals while to replace him.

There doesn’t seem to be a concrete reason that the Cardinals would want to push such a talented player out the door, but it seems as though the front office in St. Louis could be ready to choose the manager over the kid. If a little tiff with Tony LaRussa is the reason, then the Cards loss is another teams gain.

Now to the numbers: Rasmus followed up an up and down rookie campaign in 2009 with an exceptional step forward in 2010. In ’10, he played three more games and his average jumped from .251 to .276, his homers went from 16 to 23, and his OPS made a considerable leap from .714 to .859. That .859 OPS mirrors Ryan Howard’s OPS for the 2010 season and was 27 points better than Chase Utley’s. Not bad for a 24-year old.

His defense has fluctuated during his two seasons according to FanGraphs. In his rookie year of ‘09, his UZR was an exceptional 10.2. Last year that figure dropped to a -6.5. If you look at the in-between, a 3.2 UZR is slightly better than average. The question would be; what do you do with him in Philadelphia?

With Shane Victorino entrenched in centerfield, Rasmus would have to play out of his normal position in right. However, the speed of the Phillies outfield would be fantastic. Again, he’s another left-handed bat that would add to an overloaded lefty lineup. Rasmus falls in line with Grady Sizemore as a less-than-perfect fit.

Rasmus is a career .217 hitter against left-handed pitching meaning as a five-hole hitter, the Phillies would be in trouble in late-inning situations.

CHANCES: 2/10 – Again, another lefty who struggles against left-handed pitching and would add to that already too-lefty lineup the Phils trot out there everyday. Rasmus is a fine young player, but the chances of him coming here aren’t great unless a counter move is made to make the lineup lefty-friendly.



  1. Bart Shart

    November 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I’d like the Phils to focus on a good-hitting right hander first. As the article concludes, I agree that Rasmus would be a nice option if we get that solid right hander first. He looks like a young player on the rise. He may be too much of a head case, but Tony LaRussa is a prima donna who has fueded with a number of players. One of which was Scott Rolen.

  2. bsizzle

    November 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Rasmus would surely cost as Dom Brown, but I’ve always though of Brown having a slightly higher ceiling than Rasmus, so I dont think this be worth our while.

  3. Shag beta sigma delta

    November 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    IMO any trade rumors for a LH bat are pointless at this time unless it includes trading brown or Raul. Raul’s contract kind of limits that possibility and tradeing brown puts you in the same positions you have now. So unless there are other plans for a RH bat, any LH bat trade just seems pointless

  4. NJ

    November 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    If the Phils and Cards ever discuss Rasmus I hope the Phils demand at least 18 months worth of diapers and baby wipes so we don’t have to pay for his tantrums

  5. George

    November 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Although Victorino is “entrenched in centerfield,” he has played right and done a good job of it, too. If Rasmus were obtained, Vic would probably be the one to move over. I also agree with Bart Shart that many players have feuded with LaRussa so Rasmus may not be the head case he’s portrayed as.

    However, Rasmus would cost a boatload of high end prospects and his left-handed bat makes him a poor fit no matter what part of the outfield he roams. I’d pass on this proposal, and think PN needs to look at some real right handed bats, and forget the lefties and the righties who can’t hit against left handed pitching.

  6. psujoe

    November 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    The Phils should seriously consider going after Upton. If not, I think Matt Diaz would be a nice inexpensive platoon option.

  7. psujoe

    November 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    If you’re going to trade a “boat load of high end prospects” I’d do it for Upton. Fits need much better.

  8. brooks

    November 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Although Shane has received his 3 GG for his play in CF, I remeber his play in RF as being some of his best. Regardless of what happens or who the Phils pick up, putting Shane back in RF certainly would not hurt the Phils defense.

  9. Chuck

    November 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Upton > Rasmus

  10. The Dipsy

    November 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t understand why we keep bringing up LH hitters. Its silly. Unless you trade Ibanez and good luck with that.

    The Dipsy

  11. Marc H

    November 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Rasmus is a good young player, but he doesn’t seem to be a fit. Plus, any package would probably have to start with Dom Brown.

  12. Bruce

    November 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Other than a need for another RH bat off the bench, why is there a discussion on Colby Rasmus? As one poster (“bsizzle”) here commented, we have our own potential 5-tool player in Domonic Brown (a higher ceiling than Rasmus) who surely will be given the chance to play RF. By the way, any such talk about moving Gold Glover, Victorino from CF is INSANE!!

  13. brooks

    November 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Shane played RF for 2 years before he played CF – he was incredible in RF.

  14. Greg

    November 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Would this following lineup:

    Vic – S
    Polly – R
    Utley – L
    Howard – L
    Rollins – S
    Ibañez/Francisco – L/R
    Ruiz – R
    Brown – L
    Pitcher – ?

    Be that much different than this one?

    Rollins – S
    Polly – R
    Utley – L
    Howard- L
    Werth – R
    Ibañez – L
    Victorino – S
    Ruiz – R
    Pitcher – ?

  15. Chuck

    November 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Would it be that much different??


    …in that a certain HUGE right-handed offensive weapon is missing…

  16. Bruce

    November 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Who would that be Chuck? It’s not the one that failed miserably with RISP all season is it? (chuckles)

  17. psujoe

    November 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Dom Brown, Vance Worley, Schwimmer and Riz for Upton.

  18. psujoe

    November 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Brown, (Worley or Kendrick), (Schwimmer or Mathiason), (Riz or Mayberry). Is that enough?

  19. Greg

    November 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Chuck, Rollins numbers with RISP killed J-Dub’s. From a 5-hole, wouldn’t you prefer a guy who hits .300 and is perfectly capable of stretching a single into a double over a guy who hits .182 with about 8 more homeruns than the aforementioned guy hits on a normal year. It’s a stretch, but J-Roll pulls through with RISP, although leading off an inning, he won’t be as effective.

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