What if I told you that one of the premier center fielders in baseball could be had for less than he's worth? Well, I'd likely be lying considering the Cardinals won't be stupid about this, but after last weekend's latest report that Rasmus and Cardinals skipper Tony LaRussa were clashing, replete with quotes from Colby's father, it would make sense for Rasmus to be a little more available than he once was:
Colby isn't completely innocent in all of this. You might remember from this winter's controversy that Rasmus has already requested two trades in his two-plus seasons with the major league club. He's had trouble growing comfortable with Tony La Russa's managing style, which calls for an active 25-man roster and frequent playing time for backups, and there are times when Colby has operated too passively in center field.
It looked early on this season like Rasmus and La Russa had mended their issues. Colby opened with a shiny .290/.374/.450 batting line in the month of April. He had a quality .873 OPS on May 12. But he's tallied just 19 hits in his last 94 at-bats and went 0-for-7 last weekend in Chicago, the same weekend Tony Rasmus decided to speak up again about his problems with the Cardinals organization on a fan blog.
Rasmus, still just 24, is a premium hitter at an up-the-middle defensive position, who has a solid defensive reputation and will be under team control for three more years after this one. This may not be a completely feasible idea this year, when the Cardinals would likely command a premium to break up their core, but lobbing Michael Bourn, Jeff Keppinger, and some prospects for Rasmus would give the Astros a top young center fielder who would be highly appreciative of not being under La Russa's wing anymore.
Yeah, yeah, I know, the Astros aren't in a position to be giving up prospects. In theory. This acquistion doesn't decrease the overall young talent though: this is a bonafide star-caliber center fielder who could be available at a decent price. That possibility must be investigated, even if it is pretty unlikely that anything will happen.