Blog Entry

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:59 pm
The stat guys will wonder how the Cardinals could ever trade Colby Rasmus, who is 24 years old and ranked just behind Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Ryan Braun in OPS+ last year.

I'm wondering if the Cardinals just made the move that puts them in position to win the National League Central.

I'm not convinced, but I do know that the Cardinals had to improve their bullpen if they were going to have any chance to top the Brewers, Reds and even the Pirates in the bunched-up NL Central race. They did that already, and as colleague Scott Miller reports, the Cardinals remain engaged with the Padres in an effort to acquire closer Heath Bell.

By acquiring Edwin Jackson (who the Blue Jays got from the White Sox Wednesday morning), the Cardinals could move Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen, where he had so much success last year. They also acquired veteran right-hander Octavio Dotel and young lefty Marc Rzepczynski from the Blue Jays, adding significant depth to a bullpen that is tied for second in the majors in most blown saves.

"Dotel is pitching good," said one scout who watched him in the last week. "He's not what he once was, but his velocity is up, and his slider is sharper."

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals tried to obtain James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson in exchange for Rasmus, but the Rays held tight to their decision not to move either one. Strauss reported that the Cardinals turned down a package of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell, before settling on the Jackson-plus-bullpen-help package from the Blue Jays.

For Toronto, the Rasmus trade is another example of buying low on a top talent, much as the Jays did last year when they sent Alex Gonzalez to the Braves for Yunel Escobar. Escobar was an out-of-favor talent, much as Rasmus is now.

Rasmus feuded each of the past two years with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, and the word around the Cards was that Albert Pujols wasn't fond of him, either. As talented as Rasmus is, it was starting to appear that things would never work out for him in St. Louis, much as it appeared things wouldn't work out for Escobar in Atlanta.

Jackson is headed for free agency at the end of the year, and Dotel is 37 years old, so it's not as if the Cardinals were dealing with the future in mind. But with a team that is built to win now, and with Pujols in the final year of his contract, the Cardinals are understandably focused much more on 2011 than on 2012 and the future.


Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:41 am

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

AA is at it again! The Escobar trade was awesome and it appears the Jays have their shortstop of the present and future as he has been hitting great and getting on a ton.  Now we get Rasmus! Wow! Well done AA! Keep grabbing players with high ceilings!

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:54 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

Even if they win, I suspect that losing Colby will be something the cards as a whole come to regret.

Not LaRussa of course, but frankly at some point his tendencey to have wars with his players (and often some of his bettr players) is going to wear thin and he will be gone.

I loved seeing great trades from past Cardinal General Managers and hated the bad ones where too much was given away because of personalities. Look, I know they needed pen help to have a better chance to win but if this was all they could get for Colby, they should have just pursued a smaller package, like getting only a relief pitcher for a second tier prospect, or the like.

Frankly of the three relievers Toronto traded away, the Cards got the worst two so I am not sure how that equates to a win for them.

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:34 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

It's a great deal for winning now, after I saw it I knew that STL has closed the holes that let other teams into the lead.  Let someone else find out about Rasmus, STL can always buy him back later -- from the profits made by WINNING NOW.  I always heard that STL fans are the smartest in baseball, but the comments below make me wonder.

Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:04 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

Cardinals are going to regret giving up on this kid so quickly.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:49 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

P.S. Jim Edmonds didn't peak until he was 25.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:49 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

This trade was horrendous. Send Rasmus to the minors if need be. HE IS ONLY 24!!! He leads the team in triples, runs scored, and has more walks than Albert. So what if he wanted to turn to his dad for hitting Mark McGwire the greatest hitting coach ever? He hit .263 in his career for crying out loud....Jackson is nothing better than a #4. Dotel has been with 6 teams in the last 5 years and has had 3 or more chances to hold a closers jobs and has failed. Corey Patterson, do I even need to explain? We couldn't ask for Romero, Morrow, Hill, Escobar, Lind or Marisnick back in the deal? I'm not saying Rasmus is gold, but we got a bunch of dog turds in this deal.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:43 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

Rasmus hit .276 last year with 23 homeruns but only 66 rbi's.  His on base percentage looked decent because he did get 63 walks.  This year his batting average tailed off to .246.  His career batting average is now .259.  The Cardinals say he "has all the tools".  That's a cliche teams use when they are waiting for a player to produce.  He'll probably have about an average MLB career when he's done.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:47 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

Right on.  Why do teams make moves to make moves?  That division is not that good and they have managed to play with everyone all year.  My only guess is that the Cards know they are going to lose the division and figure they have to do something.  But, as we have all seen, nothing is often better than something.

Since: Mar 2, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:37 pm

Cardinals are about the now, not about the stats

Have any chance of winning? You do realize they're in first with status quo right?

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