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.

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.