It's been widely reported that the Texas Rangers have been in talks with the New York Mets about outfielder and impending free agent Carlos Beltran. Beltran is the only bat that the Rangers have been linked to, as most of the focus seems to be on improving Texas' bullpen as opposed to the lineup. If the Rangers are looking to improve the lineup, should they be taking a look at Colby Rasmus - who the St. Louis Cardinals appear to now be shopping?
First things first, Rasmus isn't going to be cheap. There's virtually no way that the Cardinals would accept something like Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton - which was rumored last week when the White Sox popped up as potential suitors for Rasmus. Rasmus has underperformed this year, hitting to the tune of a .245/.332/.421 line with 11 homers in 335 at bats - a far cry from the .271/.361/.498 Rasmus hit in 2010.
Rasmus has fallen out of favor with Tony LaRussa in St. Louis, with a feud that dates back to last year when Rasmus demanded to be traded. Further, Rasmus insists on working only with his father for help with his swing and hitting rather than the instructors that St. Louis has to offer. Rasmus' father also has disagreements with LaRussa as well, something that has caused more than one headache in St. Louis.
Jason Parks speculated on twitter that he wouldn't be surprised if Texas was paying close attention to the Rasmus situation in St. Louis, and added that the Cardinals have always liked Martin Perez. It's unknown if Perez would have to be part of the package to land Rasmus, but it's certainly a real possibility that the Cardinals would ask for Perez in a deal since Rasmus is under team control for a few more years.
Rasmus certainly has a better future than Carlos Beltran, but doesn't offer the same impact that Beltran would for the next two months and would certainly cost more to acquire. It's a dicey situation, but if the Rangers are seriously considering trading a top prospect to acquire Beltran, Heath Bell or Mike Adams, I'd rather see them explore a deal with St. Louis for Rasmus. If the price on Beltran is a mid-level prospect or two, then Beltran is the better fit. The Cards might also be looking for major league ready talent as well, which will be tough for Texas to offer - especially since St. Louis is looking to address their bullpen much like Texas is.
As with everything, it depends on the price, but having Rasmus in Texas' lineup certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.