Toronto Baseball Guys
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
  Rasmus: Escobar Part 2?
After a busy day of wheeling and dealing, Alex Anthopoulous scattered no fewer than 11 players into the trade winds, including Edwin Jackson twice and perhaps as many as three players to be named later.

With respect to the Brian Tallets and Mark Teahans of the world, the trades can be distilled down to three players of consequence:

St. Louis picks up Edwin Jackson to bolster their rotation for the stretch drive. Jackson's a solid innings eater and should improve on a 3.92 ERA in the National League.

The White Sox acquire Zach Stewart, arguably the most rotation-ready prospect in the Jays system. He could be added to the Sox rotation immediately.

The Blue Jays snag 24-year-old centre fielder Colby Rasmus.

This deal is almost a carbon copy of the Yunel Escobar trade from a year ago. Rasmus is currently hitting just .240 with 11 home runs, though with an OPS still above league average. These numbers are a far cry from Rasmus' excellent sophomore season in which he hit 23 home runs and posted an .860 OPS. As with Escobar, whose star had fallen in Atlanta, there is simply no way that Rasmus would have been available this past spring - certainly not for the price Anthopoulous ended up paying.

And so, in the span of 12 months, the Blue Jays have added two potential cornerstone players, playing key defensive positions, in exchange for Zach Stewart, Alex Gonzalez and a collection of spare parts. This is the type of creative risk-taking that mid-payroll teams need to employ to become and remain competitive.

Sure, there's a chance that Rasmus is an attitude problem and won't become the star he's supposed to, but when you have the shot at the young, talented guy with the disgruntled manager - you take it.

One thing is certain, he'll be a welcome relief from the Magellanic routes taken by Corey Patterson and Rajai Davis in centre.

Caveat: The potential sleeper in this trade is Mark Rzcepcynski, who, in the clutches of Dave Duncan, could become a quality starting pitcher.

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