Joe Strauss, of the Post Dispatch, stirred up the seemingly always simmering pot of crazy Colby Rasmus chili with a report stating that the Cardinals were in deep talks to trade their former top prospect to the Chicago White Sox for starting pitcher Edwin Jackson or reliever Matt Thornton.
Five reasons why this deal might happen:
1. Colby’s a head-case. He’s always sad about being picked on because of something, and while he may not deserve all the flack he gets, the center fielder never seems to handle it well.
2. Kenny Williams likes to make trades. The guy is a trading machine, at one point basically admitting that he’s always looking to deal.
3. Edwin Jackson is a pending free agent who’s having a so-so year. A 6-7 record with an ERA of just under 4.00, Sox fans aren’t too upset to see the starting pitcher go especially in exchange for a guy with a lot more upside than the struggling Alex Rios.
4. The Cardinals need starting pitching. Starting pitching could improve the bullpen as well and pretty much everyone on the coaching and front office staff have admitted their desire for a back of the rotation starter. Edwin Jackson is certainly that guy.
5. There are rumblings that even with Rasmus’ talent, he’s an annoyance to the club and coaching staff, so removing him might be a Brendan Ryan-esque addition via subtraction. In addition, the coaching staff’s budding infatuation with Jon Jay makes any move even easier.
Five reasons why this deal will die:
1. Colby Rasmus is only 24. As annoying as he might be, he’s still very young, is expected to keep getting better and under club control for years to come.
2. Edwin Jackson isn’t enough of a return. While we’d love to have Jackson in the back end of our rotation, he’s a rental and an average pitcher, meaning that’s not enough for Colby Rasmus (see #1). Strauss mentioned a third team might get in the mix, and that should help, but even with a prospect thrown in, this deal doesn’t seem like there’s enough coming back to St. Louis.
3. We need a reliever. Matt Thornton’s name was also mentioned as return (instead of Jackson) in the piece, but he was recently re-upped and has also had a year that could easily be described as “average at best”.
4. We fell for this “Jon Jay is going to be awesome, we promise!” thing last year when we shipped off Ludwick to the Padres last year. Jay was killing it in part-time duty, but after getting chance at the starting job, he looked over-exposed and over-matched.
5. Maybe we aren’t offering enough. You aren’t just trading Colby, you’re also trading his pain-in-the-ass, “Please everyone look at me! I want to be famous too! I’m the best high school coach ever! Gotta go call in to a talk radio show or chat on this random sports website” dad. …ok, throw in Theriot. He’s this year’s Aaron Miles!
We think the writing is on the wall for the end of the Rasmus era in St. Louis. After more anonymous player venting, and the whole “Daddy teach me how to hit” crap came up yet again, it’s clearly time for him to go, but we’re not sure this is the deal to do as it stands right now. Maybe talk to the Rays, see if we can get James Shields or a lesser pitcher with B.J. Upton, or get than mysterious third team to throw something worthy back our direction. Either way, Edwin Jackson and a one of the White Sox farmhands aren’t enough for even the whiniest of 24-year old center fielders.