Should The Blue Jays Trade Colby Rasmus?

Colby Rasmus has put together a nice little hot streak over the past week or so even as the Blue Jays have played some of their worst baseball of the season.  Rasmus was expected to bounce back from a very auspicious start to his Jays career (133 ABs, 173/201/316) and give the team a solid middle to bottom of the order threat from the left side.

Well, sometimes the most well intentioned plans can go awry and Rasmus has been fairly awful to start the new campaign.  Not to be a downer but even with his recent hot surge his May stats are not only below average (240/318/400 in 24 games) but his slugging percentage is actually down a few ticks compared to April.

Over his past seven games Colby has gone 10 for 30 with seven extra-base hits including a homerun in each of his past two games.  His season slash line is now 227/298/411 to go along with 9 doubles and 5 homeruns.  Considering his position and fairly solid defense he isn’t the worst player in the game but if the Jays are serious about taking a run at a playoff spot I have a couple recommendations.

First his trade value is probably at its absolute lowest and a panic sell is not something Alex Anthopoulos would be inclined to do (based on track record) but the Jays have a guy in Triple-A named Anthony Gose who is starting to really hold his own offensively.  Is anyone confident that Gose couldn’t perform at the same level offensively (if not slightly better) than Rasmus right now?

If the offensive production is even close to similar at this stage than Gose should be in the major leagues right now.  His centre field defense has the potential to be the game’s best and his dynamic speed game could make him a weapon.  Gose is not a perfect hitter by any means but his improving Triple-A numbers lead me to believe he could hit at least as well as Rasmus.

Yes he is in a hyper offensive environment but he has still performed well as one of the youngest players in the league.  Currently slashing 285/366/415 with a solid 10.1 BB% and a reduced K% of 22.4 (26.2 in 2011) good for a .358 wOBA.  Gose has nine doubles, three triples and three homeruns to go along with 18 stolen bases. 

Scouting reports are glowing when it comes to his centre field defense, of course.  Considering both Rasmus and Gose would be hitting out of the eight or nine hole it would appear the move could be a wash or slightly positive (depending on Gose’s contact ability at the MLB level). 

But if the Blue Jays could find a trade partner for Colby Rasmus and add a much needed veteran starting pitcher than the overall move would definitely be net positive.  Again it is hard to gauge exactly what the Blue Jays think of Rasmus but if they weren’t slightly disappointed, I’d be disappointed in them.

Rasmus wouldn’t land the team a top arm at this stage (on his own) but if a team has a longer term need in centre field and still has some belief in him then I could see a potential fit.  Maybe the Jays could land a Joe Blanton or Gavin Floyd type which would be a welcome sight for a rotation in need of an arm that could push the currently overmatched Drew Hutchison back to the minor leagues (for now).

If this is too knee jerk than at the very least let Colby Rasmus grind it out against right handed pitching but please enough with the “will he or won’t he be able to hit lefties” business, it is clear, he can’t.  In 1177 ABs (versus righties) Rasmus has slashed 260/329/452 while in 395 ABs (versus lefties) he has slashed 213/292/359.  The data supports sitting him against lefties if winning is the ultimate goal this season.

A quality I have long admired about current Toronto Raptors GM is his ability to admit a mistake a cut bait when given the opportunity (Jermaine O’Neal, Hedo Turkuglu for example) and I hope Mr. Anthopoulos isn’t overly attached to the 26-year old outfielder if things continue on their current path production wise.


Yankees Eyeing Matt Garza, Should Blue Jays Be Interested?

Has Brett Lawrie’s Strikezone Changed Since Suspension?

Daily Blue Jays Prospect Report – June 1, 2012

What do you guys think?  Continue to be patient in the hopes that Colby turns it around?  Call up Anthony Gose and attempt to deal Rasmus?


34 Responses to “Should The Blue Jays Trade Colby Rasmus?”

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  4. 4 Michael Siegle June 4, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Rasmus is a tough one. He had one really good year with the Cardinals, then “forgot” who his coaches were and took more advice from his Dad than from the Cardinals staff. That is why he was traded. Seems Rasmus still isn’t following his coaches advice. He has plenty of talent and those that pay him and expect specific results are in the big leagues, not high school. He has a lot to learn, but not at the expense of a big league team. It’s his decision to make, and now. Who wants to take a chance based on his history? Don’t know. Trade him now for prospects and bring up the guy from Triple A who is ready and coachable!

  5. 5 Darcy June 3, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I am not a sentimental fan, trading a commoditiy while at its peak value for the greatest return is my only motto. That being said, there are other more logical desicions to be made by Blue Jays brass, such as Adeiny Hechavarria and Travis D’Arnaud and what happens to Arencebia/Johnson/Escobar and do you move Lawrie to 2nd, JPA to 3rd, do you move Encarnacion now while his value is high (I would) and do you bring up Snider. I personally think that you trade Johnson, Escobar for a pitcher (Garza). Gose is going to be good, but spending the remainder of the year in AAA is not going to make him regress. Now that being said, if you get a good offer, then yes go ahead and deal him.

  6. 6 Scott June 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Well Ramus is providing the 4th highest fWAR value for position players on the Jays so I think we should remember that he is helping this team a lot even given the current state of his hitting. Currently we have a hole in LF so even if Gose is called up Rasmus would be the best candidate fill that position for the short term. Long term the plan should still be Snider in left, and Gose/Rasmus filling out center and right however they feel the best alignment is.

    Plus I think we have to remember what we gave up for Rasmus just last year: a comp. pick in Frasor, $7 million (Teahen), Stewart and Rzepczynski. If we traded Rasmus for a Blanton/Floyd type that would be some serious asset mismanagement.

  7. 8 Paul June 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    If Gose is brought up i feel like he replaces Davis, then you can have either Rasmus or Gose in left.

  8. 9 chief00 June 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I’m not sure the time is right to deal a good defensive CF. Acquiring Blanton is a lateral move at best, doing little for the team on the field but loading the rotation with 4th or 5th starters.

    Colby Rasmus was acquired to solidify OF defense, which was awful prior to his arrival. Mission accomplished. Any offense he provides is gravy at this point. He’s also 26.

    31-year old Joe Blanton’s career trajectory turned downward a few years ago and he would be mistreated badly in the AL East. Currently, his career ERAs against the AL East are ugly: 5.09 vs. BAL; 5.21 vs. BOS; 8.18 vs. NYY; 5.55 vs. TBR. This admittedly superficial glimpse suggests very strongly that TOR should leave him where he is. The point carries over for 29-year old Gavin Floyd, though he’s better against the AL East than Blanton has been.

    Promoting Anthony Gose and giving him the CF job would be curious, and would more than likely turn out to be disastrous. His offense hasn’t progressed rapidly in the minors, though it has progressed. His defense and speed is the sum total of his reputation. There’s no reason at all to think that he will hit major league pitching consistently. His speed would be limited to his defensive contribution if he couldn’t get on base.

    So ‘is Colby Rasmus a better major league CF than Anthony Gose?’ is perhaps a better question. The Jays are farther ahead with Rasmus patrolling CF than they would be with Blanton (or Floyd) pitching and Gose in CF.

    The real concern is LF, not CF, and adding a higher-quality pitcher, not a mid-to-low-rotation retread.

    PS: the ‘currently-overmatched’ Drew Hutchison just pitched 7 innings of 3-hit, shutout ball against BAL. It was the third time in four starts that he allowed 1 run or less, and the third time he pitched six or more innings.

    • 10 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) June 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      A lot of great points made on here, now this was just a question to get some discussion going! I don’t normally delete any comments but one was filled with f-bombs and I am trying to keep this work friendly.

      I like adding the lefty Gose to CF and keeping the lefty Rasmus for LF as well but saying that, I really would love to add another verteran SP who can guarantee us 200 IPs because not one of Morrow, Drabek, Hutchison or Alvarez has EVER done so.

      Are we expecting or WANTING to win this year or are we happy with likely fading when our arms meet IPs maximums?

      Dealing Rasmus is from a position of strength with Gose waiting.

      For people dismissing Blanton, despite a BABIP over 70 pts higher than Romero he has the same K-rate, a BB-rate a full TEN PERCENT lower, a better FIP, xFIP, K/BB.

      He isn’t a sure fire stud but would be a welcome addition to any rotation who needs innings, which the Jays sure as heck will need down the stretch when our youngsters either A) hit the wall or B) reach a max innings count.

      • 11 chief00 June 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm

        I guess my question is, if a deal (or two, three, etc.) needs to be made, then why set the bar so low? Why not aim for a younger, higher-quality pitcher with more years of control unless, of course, the aim is to revamp the entire rotation? And, since the minors are now filled with good prospects, it isn’t necessary to deplete the ML roster to make a good deal that bolsters the rotation and/or the defense/batting order.

        Blanton doesn’t guarantee much in the AL East and he’s only reached 200+ IP twice in his career. The last time he did it was in ’07. Getting Blanton (or someone like him) doesn’t move them closer to a playoff spot, and possibly moves them farther away from what they’re trying to accomplish. But I agree that the Jays will need arms later in the season.

        I believe Edwin Encarnacion is the most marketable player the Jays have right now and he doesn’t have a position, unless he replaces Lind at 1B and is in return replaced by Guerrero as DH. His value is high and he’s attractive to a team at or near the top.

      • 12 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) June 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

        @chief00 – agreed on almost all points, Blanton isn’t even among the first ten pitchers I would target but definitely a guy I wouldn’t mind adding if the price were right.

        However Rasmus is a 26 year old with a .312 wOBA.

        Saying he is THAT much more valuable than a guy like Blanton is just not accurate.

        We need an arm (or two) and Rasmus could potentially bring us that while Gose replaces him without much of a difference production wise (WAR).

      • 13 chief00 June 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

        Gotcha. I just hope they don’t give up on a very good defensive OF who had a wRC+ of 129 less than two years ago unless they get something considerably greater than Blanton or Floyd in return.

      • 14 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) June 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm

        chief – Gavin Floyd has 13+ WAR since 2009, Rasmus has a 9 WAR in same time span.

        He hasn’t been anywhere near that 2010 level of production, if he was, this wouldn’t even be a debate!

      • 15 chief00 June 2, 2012 at 12:17 am

        Isn’t the discussion the thing? Isn’t this what you hoped to inspire? 😉

      • 16 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) June 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

        absolutely, IMHO Jays fans are among some of the most passionate, knowledgeable fans.

        there is a bad reputation based on poor attendance but the true core of fans are some of the games best.

        I think Toronto has taken to the advanced stats more quickly than other cities as well.

      • 17 chief00 June 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm

        Does today’s performance by both Rasmus and Floyd qualify as a footnote to yesterday’s discussion…? 🙂

  9. 18 informedjaysfan June 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I don’t understand your argument to trade rasmus at all. You really think Gose would be an improvement over rasmus. Yeh gose’s stats look alright, but you said it yourself, it’s Vegas, put gose’s numbers through an MLB equivalency calculator and you probably end up with a slash line resembling 200/270/300. which is far below what rasmus is hitting right now. It makes no sense to me to call up Gose and start his service clock when he’s nowhere near ready. And really, you think Joe Blanton is more valuable to the jays than rasmus. Why would the jays need an overpriced 5th starter?

    • 19 IdiotFan June 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      hey man Blanton isn’t terrible, a 3.62 xFIP would be among the Jays best. He pitches in a bandbox and keeps his team in games with very solid control.

      that might not even be a move the Phillies would make bro, you are overrating Rasmus IMO.

      • 20 informedjaysfan June 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        I hope your trolling, yeah his xFIP is alright but his FIP is horrible cause he’s consistently shown that he gives up shit tons of home runs. Way too quote a stat that normalizes his greatest weakness. You know nothing about baseball if you think Blanton > Rasmus.

      • 21 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) June 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        @informed, blame me, I named Blanton as a possible acquisition target, and it was a reach. Blanton isn’t horrible but definitely not worth a solid CF like Rasmus.

        Maybe Thames for Blanton would be tolerable.

    • 22 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) June 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      I am more than confident Gose can produce a measly .312 wOBA AND play better defense.

      If Rasmus can bring us a decent pitcher, I am all for moving him.

  10. 23 home June 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Why not keep Rasmus and bring up Gose? Put Rasmus in left field where we have noone other then fourth outfielder Raja Davis and bring up Anthony Gose to play center field. Rasmus is a plus plus outfielder who I still belive has an upside hitting. Lets remember he hasnt even been in the AL for a full year yet.

    • 24 IdiotFan June 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      well, UZR doesn’t feel Rasmus is a PLUS PLUS CF but he might be a well above avg LF.

      I think the point here is adding an SP while not really downgrading the offense would be a plus IF the arm is halfway decent.

    • 25 IdiotFan June 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      AND that is after a disastrous game in which he gave up a shit ton of hits and 6 ER in like 5 IPs.

      • 26 Stanley's Cup June 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

        Rasmus is 25
        Blanton is 30+ pitching in the NL. Good luck in the AL East Blanton is worse then any of the Jays option for the rotation, he would be a better 6th starter then Laffey but not at the price of Rasmus and an extra 5M. That is one of the worst ideas I have hear.

        Idiot fan- Rasmus’ stats are after an 0-20 run so I don’t know why you consider taking out Blanton’s stats applicable.

        BTW there is no scenario where Phillies say no to a Rasmus for Blanton straight up.

      • 27 Dave June 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

        Matt Garza has been rocked for 6 – 8 runs against in the first three innings of 6 of his starts against the bottom teams of the NL. Would you call him a 5th starter too, because that is exactly what you are saying when you say that Hutch had one bad start when he is very young, so you just throw him away. Fortunately, you weren’t anywhere near the A’s of a few years back when they went with three fifth starters in their rotation named Gonzalez, Cahill, and Anderson, who were exactly Drew Hutchision when they started. Fans are idiots though and they expect guys that are 22 to win Cy Youngs and 20 games every year in their rookie season, the same as hitters need to bat .400 – 40 home runs, and 200 RBI’s with a 3.999 OPS or they are garbage and need replaced in their rookie seasons too. Fans like that should stick their head in the sand again, because there has never been a player in 150 years of baseball that acccomplished that in their rookie seasons at a young age. Most players didn’t even reach the majors until they were 26 or older, yet fans expect 22 year olds to outhit and outpitch guys with 10 years in the league which is stupidity at its finest.

  11. 28 Alex38 June 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I dont really understand why Gose/Rasmus must play CF. Our obvious hole in the lineup is LF. Instead of shopping Rasmus, since he is still very young with a ton of talent, why not move one to Left?

    It is not uncommon for a player to really figure it out at the dish at the age of 25. We also must remember he has switched leagues.

    I would be extremely disappointed for Rasmus to leave for a guy like Joe Blanton….

  12. 29 GoJaysGo! May 29, 2012 at 11:13 am

    That is a tough call! On one hand we have invested in Colby to be a part of our future however he has not performed up to par (thus far). Maybe his recent 7-8 games will be a catalyst. Good read man. Great blog!

    • 30 Andrew June 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Why do we need to trade Rasmus when his stock is at an all time low?? The blue jays don’t have a left fielder so why not put Colby there and place Gose in Center?? An outfiled of Colby, Gose and Joey would make for a very solid outfield (maybe top 5 defensively).

      If the jays are going to trade anyone it should be Yunel or Kelly to make way for the young Cuban Hechevarria (since kelly is a free agent he’d be more likely to be dealt because with the new CBA he won’t get the Jays a compensation pick).

      Let me know if any Jays fans agree or disaree with my logic.


      • 31 GoJaysGo! June 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

        My thing is Rasmus might have a bit more trade value (right now) than a Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson for the unknown factor. He could still potentially get better. You know what you have in Yunel (no power, decent avg and a glove) and KJ (low avg, decent OBP/SLG).

        Hech may or may not be a hitter so it’s risky to just hand him the reigns at such an important position.

      • 32 Randy June 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        Way too early. Another month to sort positions out. Injuries make some decisions premature such as Yunel/Johnson. For example imagine trading Jonhson, Yunel’s groin acts up, and Hechaveria doesn’t hit 200. We will be in this race in September.

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