Rasmus Trade Ramifications

Yesterday, the Cardinals, Blue Jays and White Sox exchanged players with each team ending up with the following players:

Blue Jays: Colby RasmusMark TeahenBrian TalletTrever MillerP.J. Walters
Cardinals: Octavio Dotel, Marc RzepczynskiEdwin Jackson, Corey Patterson
White Sox: Jason FrasorZach Stewart

Here is a quick look at how the trade effects the fantasy value of players involved and not involved in the trade.

Colby Rasmus (to Toronto) – Rasmus’s fantasy value probably doesn’t change too much going from St. Louis to Toronto. Here are the main factors I see changing his value.

1. In St Louis, he batted towards the top of the order, 2nd, 5th or 6th. With Toronto, I would not be surprised to see him fall into the the #2 spot. This will give him more opportunities for Runs, but less for RBIs.
2. He will probably be seeing better pitching from the teams in the AL East compared to NL Central. This advantage is less this season than in previous seasons as the NL Central pitching has improved, notably with Milwaukee.
3. Rogers Centre in Toronto (100 wOBA park factor) is friendlier to hitters than Busch Stadium (95 wOBA park factor).

Rasmus’s fantasy value will not be exactly known until the Blue Jays define his exact role. I would not adjust his fantasy value up or down at this point.

Edwin Jackson – (to St. Louis) – Jackson’s move to St. Louis initially looks to improve his fantasy value for the following reasons:

1. He moves out of the 6 man rotation that Chicago was using. He will now be pitching every 5 days for St. Louis, giving his owners more chances to accumulate stats.
2. Busch Stadium (95 wOBA park factor) is more of a pitcher’s park than U.S. Cellular Field (103 wOBA park factor).
3. His ERA (3.92) is a little inflated compared to his FIP (3.21) xFIP (3.42) and SIERA (3.65) and could decrease as the season goes on.
4. Dave Duncan Effect. If Duncan could make Todd Wellemeter an OK pitcher for a season, he should be able to at least keep Jackson at the same production level.

The move to St. Louis looks to only improve Jackson’s value.

Brent Morel – With Mark Teahen gone from Chicago, Morel looks to take over as the everyday 3B for the White Sox. When both players were on the team this season, Morel started 62 games at 3B while Teahen started 23. While Morel’s rate stats look to remain constant, he will see a jump in his counting stats because he will see more time at 3B.

St. Louis Outfield – The trade of Rasmus helps the value of Berkman, Jay and Holliday as each will not have to share time with Rasmus in the field. Skip Schumaker will be the back up OF if one of the big 3 go down, but at this time he is worthless in fantasy baseball.

St. Louis Bullpen (gains Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski) – With 5 different pitchers recording a save this year, the Cardinals did not have a steady closer at the beginning of the season. Since Salas has taken over as the closer, there has been less fluctuation in the bullpen. I don’t see Dotel or Rzepczynski becoming the closer anytime soon.

All park factors are from StatCorner.com

Print This Post

Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

14 Responses to “Rasmus Trade Ramifications”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Nick #2 says:

    Rasmus was losing playing time to Jon Jay, he’ll play everyday in Toronto. I’d say value up just for that reason.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Peter says:

    Why wouldn’t you address the Toronto outfield? If Rasmus is manning CF, does Rajai get pushed to the bench and become a spot starter?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • keyser soze says:

      You’re right, this was pretty sloppy, only half the story given. Davis likely gets the bench except against lefties, pretty much the same situation he’d been in lately when Patterson was around. He will be used as pinch runner later in games he doesn’t start, has been effective in that role.

      No mention of Frasor either, not like White Sox bullpen has been epitome of consistency. Although Santos hasn’t been terrible, Frasor may get some save opps.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Mario Mendoza says:

    Phil Humber back to rotation?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. junker23 says:

    What does, “…he batted towards the top of the order, 2nd, 5th or 6th…” mean?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Just Jim says:

    What kind of value would you give to Allen Craig when he returns to the lineup in a few weeks? Is he just a forth outfielder/backup 2nd baseman again, does he start replacing schumaker, is he worth keeping on my DL? Questions questions…who’s got answers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Eminor3rd says:

    The 2 hole is an extremely important spot for RBIs according to Tango’s research.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. wynams says:

    This has been the only article I have read that denies the obvious boost to the fantasy value of Rasmus (playing everyday in a better hitters park).

    Kudos on being in the top .01%-ile if indeed Rasmus WAR stays flat or egads declines

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Will says:

    Doesn’t Jackson have a history of pitching better in the AL. Also, the al central is the weakest division in baseball

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Scott says:

      NL Central has two teams with less wins than the last place team in the AL Central.

      As to the original article, isn’t the bonus for the +1 Dave Duncan effect canceled out by the bonus he was already receiving from the +1 Don Cooper effect? They wash out, rite? Or does he now get a +2 pitching bonus thus making him even more powerful?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Steve Balboni says:

    And getting Jackson has led LaRussa to put McLellan in the bullpen, maybe even in Salas’s slot. Hard to see that last bit happening, but time will tell.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. everdiso says:

    It’ll be tough to move Thames out of the 2-spot unless Colby hits right away.

    I’d project Rasmus for a similar split between the #2 and #5/6 slots as he had in STL.

    Davis becomes a true full-time bench guy because of this. Probably should drop him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Chris says:

    What a shame. Davis is always one of the best fantasy players in the league in the second half. Some CF needy team needs to trade for him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1