Remember these guys? No, me neither. They're called "The Rasmus" though, so it's fitting. (I lie, I liked this song in highschool, bought the CD, hated it, now I dunno where it is).
Ok, first things first I suppose; Ricky Romero yesterday. Thanks buddy. Short bullpen? Nah, no biggie. Secondly, Alex Anthopoulos, also yesterday. Another thanks buddy. Third, Jason Frasor, last 5 years or whatever. A final thanks buddy. Here's me hoping that Chicago declines the option and he signs back with Toronto next year, but that just sounds kind of silly. Zaunhead to each of you.
Rasmus stuff, plus other links
John Lott of the National Post with his little write-up about the doin's that transpired yesterday.
Joel Sherman from (I'll be honest, I don't remember who he writes for. NY Times, maybe? Something in St. Louis?) says that Tampa offered Jeff Niemann and JP Howell for Rasmus, and that STL declined. I can only assume that Tampa wouldn't take Miller/Tallet, which must have been a big selling point for STL. This move really does strengthen their bullpen if Dotel and Scrabble are used properly in place of Tallet and Miller. I dunno, I think if Tampa throws in some cash they can make this happen, especially if STL tried to leverage this in to a bidding war between Toronto and Tampa. If a guy like Jackson was the selling point, I'm curious as to whether Niemann could have been flipped for someone just as useful with all that value (900k salary this year, all 3 arbitration years going forward). Ken Rosenthal actually says that this rumor is false, but that there was probably an offer something along these lines. Both pitchers have injury history as well, but Tampa is rich with prospects and young pitchers.
Here's another take from Fangraphs, this time a little more friendly to STL's perspective. Basically, he views the production the Cards will get out of Jon Jay and the production that they would have gotten from Rasmus as pretty much a wash, while they improved their bullpen a bit, will acquire a pick of Jackson at the end of the year (presumably), and really, they had very little choice in dealing Rasmus somewhere; at least they got a controllable asset in Scrabble (more on him in a minute), a decent reliever in Dotel (against RHB). I think a big aspect of this trade, however, is the cash that is potentially changing hands. We don't know how much is going, but part of the trade was 3 PTBNL, cash, or some kind of combination of the two. I assume STL worked this in as an option with the plan of locking up Albert Pujols in the offseason, as I'm sure will be the use for most of their available funds.
Sportsnet's Shi Davidi with really more of the same.
Richard Griffin says that AA is pretty much finished with trades for the deadline. He also takes a little stab at Aaron Hill in those 140 characters. Not bad, Griff.
Ken Rosenthal says that The Cardinals were looking in to acquiring Heath Bell from San Diego, and were using Colby Rasmus as bait. A few excerpts from that one:
In the view of some, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos nearly topped his trade of outfielder Vernon Wells to the Angels with this one. "The only thing I am sure of is that Alex Anthopoulos is the smartest dude in the game — unreal trade for him," one exec said.
As for the relievers, right-handed hitters are batting only .159/.205/.232 against Dotel, and left-handed hitters are batting only .159/247/.203 against Rzepczynski. The addition of Jackson enables the Cardinals to bump righty Kyle McClellan to the bullpen, and the team is still trying to acquire Padres closer Heath Bell — though Rasmus was a central part of those discussions, sources say.The main idea I'm getting from Rosenthal's writing here is that Tony La Russa was the one in charge of this deal, and not John Mozeliak. Obviously, I have no fucking clue how much control TLR has as it pertains to the front office, and I might just be reading between the lines when there's nothing there ("But if Rasmus develops into a star — and many in the industry suspect he still migh-t — then shame on La Russa for failing to draw more out of such a talented player.").
Anthopoulos' presser, in video form. He's real high on Frasor, and says that Rzep was the deal-breaker.
Finally, a quick hit here about Zach Stewart. I was kind of surprised, and thought that it might be a bit of an overpay to include him, but there are a couple things we have to consider here though: Stewart is 25 years old, and still in AA. He's shown that he can be at least passable in the bigs, but maybe he doesn't project as well as we thought he might. If he was really a potential #2 starter, he'd probably be up in the bigs somewhere. Secondly, I think there needed to be some kind of semi-impact guy going the other way, whether it was a prospect or big leaguer, pitcher or position player, Frasor for Jackson just isn't enough. There isn't a ton of value in a guy like Frasor, especially for 2 months of him. People are a lot more likely to offer arbitration (and others sign them, in the case of Type-A's) to starters than to relievers.
Personally, I feel like Jackson may have fallen out of favor with Jays scouts. Again, at 25 years old and still in the minors, there isn't really much primetime of Stewart available for Chicago. The Jays have plenty of depth at starting pitcher (Stewart might become a reliever again, as he was in Cincinnati's system), and became expendable. Other guys down there, such as Henderson Alvarez, Drew Hutchison, etc., may have simply passed Stewart on the usefulness factor.
Elsewhere, Hanley Ramirez isn't getting along very well with Jeff Conine. Conine called out Hanley the other day, and now Hanley responded by calling Conine a chicken. Looks like Hanley needs to be traded, possibly for Jon Rauch.