Colby Rasmus's struggles with the Cardinals as an organization have been well documented. He has requested trades twice in the past two years, apparently fed up with Tony La Russa's domineering and perhaps vindictive managerial style. Now, the Cardinals have reportedly placed him on the block for pitching help. This is a rare opportunity, and the Red Sox should take full advantage of it.
Rasmus is currently putting up a mediocre line of .246/.329/.413, numbers brought down by a serious slump that he is still fighting. Nevertheless, as his June BABIP of .227 and small July sample of .160 show, this is not all his fault. He is still hitting line drives at a 20% rate, so it seems quite likely he's in the middle of some bad luck. Reports on Rasmus's defense in center field have also been varied - he put up spectacular numbers in his first year, bad numbers his second, and currently appears to be putting up poor numbers again. However, we must remember the volatility of defensive numbers.
These defensive numbers, however, may be irrelevant, as should the Red Sox acquire Colby Rasmus, he could play right field. This would keep Ellsbury comfortable in his CF role, and pull up Rasmus's defensive numbers. In a very small sample, he put up otherworldly numbers in RF, and while those won't continue, they should still be good to very good, which is vital in Fenway's spacious RF.
But, you might say, Rasmus is a left handed hitter in a lineup replete with southpaws. And this would be important - but Rasmus actually has reverse to neutral splits. He has on based .349 with a .461 SLG percentage in 2010 and a .375/.463 line in 2011. In 2010 he also killed righties with a .365/.510 line, but in 2011 he's regressed to a .312/.397 line. Rasmus's left handedness should not be a hindrance to the Red Sox acquiring him.
One of the best parts about obtaining Rasmus would be his price and his age. Rasmus is a mere 24 years old, and he is making the league minimum. He enters arb next year. Rasmus could be the long-term solution in RF for quite some time.
This could lead to another objection - what about Reddick and Kalish? I would submit that Rasmus's potential and current production is superior to that of Reddick and Kalish. Rasmus has always been a more well-regarded prospect, and while Reddick has done as well as anyone could have hoped in his short time with the Red Sox, I would still bet on Rasmus going forward. Reddick and Kalish would be lucky to achieve Rasmus's potential, and phenomenally lucky to surpass it - a chance the Red Sox don't have to take, if Rasmus is truly available. In the end, take the proven guy with potential over the prospect - it's just smart.
Accordingly, I would propose a package of something like Doubront, one of Reddick or Kalish, and a mid level pitching prospect (maybe Britton) to the Cardinals in exchange for Colby Rasmus. If they want more pitching, give them a Weiland instead. The exact players don't so much matter to me, but acquiring Rasmus would be a coup for the Red Sox organization, and the Sox should take advantage of the fact that Tony La Russa can't get along with an up and coming star.