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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Rasmus for Uggla? Really?

According to a media report, the Florida Marlins expected Colby Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals in return for Dan Uggla.

Dan Uggla and Colby Rasmus (AP/Jeff Roberson)At times, information regarding professional sports teams is released either directly or indirectly to reinforce a desired point. Now and then, credibility with the intended audience is stretched beyond what seems reasonable, however.

Such appears to be the case with a new rumor involving the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dan Uggla trade. As most know by now, the Florida Marlins second baseman, one year from free agency, was available on the open market this past week.

Numerous clubs were rumored to be interested, with the Atlanta Braves securing Uggla on Tuesday in return for All-Star utilityman Omar Infante and minor league pitcher Mike Dunn.

The St. Louis Cardinals had expressed mild interest, but in reality seemed content all along to keep converted outfielder Skip Schumaker at second base and deploy their resources elsewhere this off-season.

Such was the case when on the same day as the Uggla deal came to pass, the Cardinals announced the re-signing of pitcher Jake Westbrook to a two-year contract with an option for a third season.

Perhaps the Westbrook timing was merely coincidence, but even if so, it took some of the edge off arguments across the Cardinal Nation that had been in favor of adding Uggla instead.

The story seemed to travel a bridge too far on Wednesday when Post-Dispatch Cardinals beat writer Joe Strauss tweeted this.

“Cards inquired on Uggla. Balked when Fish pushed for Raz’.”

While I am not doubting that someone in a position of authority told Strauss this, how could it have been said with a straight face? There seems no reasonable scenario in which this deal would have made sense.

Even if the Marlins initially asked for Colby Rasmus, and who could blame them for at least trying, it strains all rational thinking to believe they would hold to that position when instead quickly dispatching Uggla to a divisional rival for a prospect and a substantially-lesser player in Infante.

Why would the Marlins set the bar so much higher for the Cardinals? In other words, I bet you couldn’t find one person anywhere who would consider Infante and Dunn to be anywhere near the equivalent of Rasmus in value.

Four years of a cost-controlled Rasmus for one year of Uggla? Seriously?

Now, the twitter sheep who apparently can’t think for themselves are falling all over each other lauding the Cardinals brass for resisting the temptation of dealing Rasmus and passing on Uggla.

While signing Westbrook and not acquiring Uggla may prove to be the best moves for the Cardinals, this explanation offered just doesn’t hold water.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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