#BlueJays’ Colby Rasmus on the Trade Block and How He Could Fit with #SFGiants

I’m at home recovering from the stomach flu and I’ve still got some lingering pain so I figure I’m still contagious. Well enough to blog, though, so that means a lot of MLB Network and social media hanging out. In hanging out and tweeting about Hot Stove this morning, a follower dropped a question my way:

As I responded to Randy, there are really a select few players that probably are essentially off-limits. I mean, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are probably going to command a farm in their current position, and I’m not sure it would make sense for any team involved. Anyway, I digress. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reported that Colby Rasmus is on the trading block and Toronto has asked for starting pitching in return from two teams to date. Are the Giants one of those teams? I sure as heck don’t know. The Giants have been reportedly been asked about starting pitcher in the minors Edwin Escobar, so if a team came calling about pitching, he’s probably more likely a guy Toronto would ask about than someone like Mike Kickham.

So let’s say a Rasmus deal happens and he comes over to the Bay Area, how does he fit in with the Giants? Platoon partner with Gregor Blanco or full-time starter? First thing’s first, Colby Rasmus is a left-handed hitter, so we can take away the platoon idea, so he would either be a starter or a bench player. He has been playing center field for the last few years, which would spar some interesting thought bubbles as to whether he can force Angel Pagan over to left. As for Rasmus’ numbers, let’s go to the spreadsheets:

Year Age Tm G PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+ Pos Awards
2009 22 STL 147 520 22 2 16 3 1 36 95 .251 .307 .407 89 *8/79 RoY-8
2010 23 STL 144 534 28 3 23 12 8 63 148 .276 .361 .498 132 *8/D
2011 24 TOT 129 526 24 6 14 5 2 50 116 .225 .298 .391 88 *8
2011 24 STL 94 386 14 6 11 5 2 45 77 .246 .332 .420 108 8
2011 24 TOR 35 140 10 0 3 0 0 5 39 .173 .201 .316 37 8
2012 25 TOR 151 625 21 5 23 4 3 47 149 .223 .289 .400 86 *8/D
2013 26 TOR 118 458 26 1 22 0 1 37 135 .276 .338 .501 127 *8/D
5 Yrs 689 2663 121 17 98 24 15 233 643 .248 .317 .436 103
162 Game Avg. 162 626 28 4 23 6 4 55 151 .248 .317 .436 103
STL (3 yrs) 385 1440 64 11 50 20 11 144 320 .259 .334 .444 110
TOR (3 yrs) 304 1223 57 6 48 4 4 89 323 .237 .298 .428 95
AL (3 yrs) 304 1223 57 6 48 4 4 89 323 .237 .298 .428 95
NL (3 yrs) 385 1440 64 11 50 20 11 144 320 .259 .334 .444 110
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/11/2013.

Included in Rasmus’ better 2013 was his .365 wOBA and 130 wRC+, his best numbers since 2010 when he had a .369 wOBA and 130 wRC+. So Rasmus clearly has had his years when he has hit. Fangraphs has his fielding in 2009 and 2013 as well above average, although other year have been less than stellar. Talk about a hot and cold player. When he’s hot, he’s your starter. When he’s cold, he’s a bench player — although to be fair, that describes a lot of players at any level. Anybody the Giants acquire in a trade or use from their system — be it Juan Perez or Roger Kieschnick — will have their flaws. Just a matter of finding whose you can live with most. Rasmus played more than 150 games for the first time in 2012, played more than 143 games three times in his five years of play, so there is a little worry with can he play a whole season. A more 2010/2013 Colby Rasmus would help any club, and so Toronto selling high on him that they themselves don’t seem to be sure that Rasmus can repeat this performance in 2014, the last year of his team control, should make you think a little bit, for sure. Joel Sherman on MLBN just mentioned, and I’ve heard this as well, the outfield crop for the next offseason doesn’t look too great, and maybe the Giants get a jump on it by getting Rasmus. MLB Trade Rumors has Rasmus’ projected arbitration earnings for 2014 at $6.5 million.

So Colby Rasmus being on the Giants? He would be a full-time starter, and I’m hoping he would force Angel Pagan to the left field spot. Now it’s just a matter of if it happens or not. The Giants have said they’ll either look in-house or through a trade for their next outfielder, and if they can spend $6MM on Jeremy Affeldt, I don’t see why they can’t spend that kind of money on Rasmus if it comes to it. The savings for the budget will have to come elsewhere (the bullpen).

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