White Sox may be targeting Cards outfielder Colby Rasmus

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Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and young center fielder Colby Rasmus had a well-chronicled falling out in the middle of the 2010 season.  Rasmus felt like he wasn’t being treated as an everyday player, La Russa didn’t like that a young player was being so vocal.  Etcetera.

It got ugly at one point, apparently, and the 24-year-old Rasmus requested a trade to another organization while the Cards were playing a series at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in late July.  The two have since mended their relationship and appear likely to return together for another season in St. Louis, but that won’t stop rumors linking the ultra-talented Rasmus to other clubs.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times heard from a scout Friday that White Sox GM Kenny Williams has “targeted” Rasmus and is willing to deal Carlos Quentin in a package for him.  The scout said that the Cardinals have expressed interest in Quentin, or have at least scouted him, and that “this might have been something that was already talked about.”

The rumor seems legitimate enough, but this whole report serves as a giant Exhibit A as to why Rasmus won’t be leaving St. Louis this winter.  Quentin has a decent power bat, but he is four years older than the Cards center fielder, not nearly as talented defensively and entering his second year of arbitration eligibility.

Rasmus batted .276/.361/.498 with 23 homers, 66 RBI and 12 stolen bases in only 464 at-bats this past season and is under team control through 2014.  For the Cards to move the youngster, they’ll have to be blown away by an offer.  Quentin and a couple of throw-in prospects will not get the job done.

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”