Because of his run-in with manager Tony La Russa this past season, Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus has been a popular name in trade rumors, but Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak stated what most everyone else has said about a Rasmus trade -- don't count on it.
Talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss , Mozeliak didn't say Rasmus was an untouchable, but he came close.
"Every player in the right deal could be traded," Mozleiak said, "but we're not shopping him. More importantly, I think it would be very difficult or almost impossible for us to replace him. So the way we're planning on moving, he's a big part of our club."
Mozeliak said the issues between Rasmus and La Russa have been handed and it's no longer an issue.
"I don't think someone with his service time (two years) can pick and choose where he wants to be," Mozeliak said.
And that's exactly why moving him made zero sense. Rasmus won't be arbitration-eligible until 2012 and won't be a free agent until 2015. He also had the third-best OPS among Cardinals regulars, hitting .276/.361/.498 last season with 23 home runs. For a team that was searching from offense from anyone without a $100 million contract, it would be difficult to give up a 24-year old producing at a premium position.
The Cardinals, however, would like to upgrade at shortstop, Mozeliak said. Brendan Ryan may have been the best defensive shortstop in the National League last season, but he hit .223/.279.294 in 2010. The team could also look to upgrade at second base, where Skip Schumaker hit .265/.328/.338.
"There is a school of thought that Skip will produce more than he did last year. There's a comfort level of that being probable," Mozeliak said. "In Brendan's case you would hope there would be some improvement, too. But if there were a way to address one of those positions in a positive way, we would pursue it. We probably have more of an emphasis on short than second at this point."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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