The Cardinals might consider trading Colby Rasmus

42 Comments

For the past couple of years we’ve heard of Colby Rasmus’ trade demands and various bits of discontent.  In response, the Cardinals and their partisans have — wisely — noted how silly it would be for the Cards to consider trading a young, cheap, talented and potentially elite centerfielder like Rasmus.

Is that sentiment starting to change? Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks it’s a possibility:

Mozeliak turned down inquiries on Rasmus late last season and during the winter when teams seized upon reports of the player’s repeated trade requests and his differences with La Russa. Now, with Rasmus on the cusp of arbitration and showing only halting development, the organization might reconsider its stance.

There is no shortage of clubs who would be interested in Rasmus if he was, in fact, available. And of course, you get the sense that Rasmus — or at least his father — would be pleased with that too.

Oh, speaking of his father, if I’m not mistaken, he has shown up in the comments here at HBT again, appearing to talk himself up in the third person in Drew’s post from yesterday, under the name of “trasmus3.”  That’s not weird or anything.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.