Being that this is a Chicago Cubs blog, you’re not going to find a complete analysis of the prospective (all-but-finalized) Carlos Beltran and Colby Rasmus trades today, but, because they could have ramifications for the Cubs, I thought them worth discussing briefly.
It appears that the Giants will acquire Beltran for cash and pitching prospect Zach Wheeler, a top 35 prospect in the game. Impact to the Cubs:
1.) Reduces the pool of suitors for Cubs’ bats by one. The Giants were a theoretical landing place for a guy like Carlos Pena, but that’s probably over now.
2.) Increases the possible demand for Cubs’ bats by taking the top bat off the market. With Beltran gone, teams like the Braves, Phillies, Indians, Pirates, etc. may feel amped up pressure to make a move.
3.) Increases the possible return for Cubs’ players. Getting Wheeler for two months of Beltran is being called a “coup.” In a sellers market – but one in which sellers were having a hard time getting buyers to give up prospects like Wheeler – the Giants may have just set the market for teams who want to work backwards from Wheeler.
It also appears that Blue Jays will acquire Rasmus, Trevor Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters for Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and (hooray!) Corey Patterson. The Cards will also get three players to be named later or cash considerations. Impact to the Cubs:
1.) Removes a potential superstar from the Cardinals. Rasmus has had a down year, and frequently butts heads with Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. But make no mistake: he could be a superstar in a couple years. For whatever reason, the Cardinals decided they’d rather keep their manager happy by unloading Rasmus.
2.) Improves the Cardinals’ chances of competing this year, but might prove a savvy move down the road. Losing Rasmus hurts, but he was set to start becoming expensive. And, by adding guys like Jackson and Dotel, who could bring draft pick compensation at the end of the year, the Cardinals may have just started the reloading process as quietly as a team can – at the same time making themselves slightly better this year.
3.) The impact on the trade market is negligible because of the unique context of Rasmus’s relationship with the Cardinals, and because the PTBNLs/cash considerations are unknown.
4.) Guarantees that Corey Patterson will dominate the Cubs for years to come. Voodoo magic.