Commentary

Cardinals should sell high on Rasmus

St. Louis has holes to fill, and this flawed outfielder is still young enough to be in high demand

Updated: March 7, 2011, 12:47 PM ET
By Jason Catania | ESPN The Magazine
Scott Rovak/US PresswireRasmus' value is at its highest, and trading him could help the Cardinals fortify their pitching staff and farm system.

If there's one person in the Cardinals' organization who might actually be relieved by the extensive coverage this spring of Albert Pujols' failed contract negotiations and Adam Wainwright's season-ending injury, it's Colby Rasmus.

Without all the hubbub over Al and Adam, the focus in camp very likely would be on the player who was the most divisive in St. Louis last season. That's the rep that Rasmus gained, for better or worse, after his late-season tiff with manager Tony La Russa led to a decrease in playing time and sparked reports that the center fielder wanted to be traded.

So why doesn't GM John Mozeliak take him up on the offer?

Because when it comes to trading a 24-year-old former first-rounder who plays an up-the-middle position, is under team control for another four years and showed developing skills in just his second season ... well, you just don't. Unless there are warning signs -- beyond any motivation or attitude issues -- that are easy to overlook but hard to ignore.