Colby Rasmus trade rumors: Blue Jays have offered CF to 2 teams

Tom Szczerbowski

The Blue Jays are seeking to bolster a starting pitching staff and are willing to part with Rasmus.

Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus is on the trade block and has already been offered to two teams recently, reports Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.

Rasmus, 27, has been with Toronto since mid-2011 when he was acquired from the Cardinals along with three other players for Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson and two others. He has topped 20 home runs each of the last two seasons and is coming off his best year at the plate since his sophomore year in the MLB in 2010.

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Over 118 games in 2013, Rasmus hit .276/.338/.501. He missed a month due to an oblique strain, then had his season end Sept. 20 when he was struck in the face by a ball during batting practice. For his career, he has a 753 OPS and is regarded as a strong defensive player.

In return for Rasmus, the Blue Jays are hoping to acquire starting pitching. Despite trading for Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey last year, Blue Jays starters combined for a 4.81 ERA in 2013, the second-worst mark in Major League Baseball.

Johnson is now a San Diego Padre, having signed with them as a free agent. However, Buerhle and Dickey will join Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ as holdover from last year's staff. One reason for Toronto's starting rotation failures was a mass of injuries: Dickey and Buerhle were the only two pitchers able to start over 20 games last year. Happ, Morrow and Johnson all had significant injuries, leading to 13 different pitchers making a start in 2013. The team is hoping to find another starter to slot into the rotation in an effort to help maintain stability.

Rasmus has one more year of team control and will be a free agent after the 2014 season. He made $4.675 million in 2013 and is poised to earn more than that in arbitration this offseason.

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