I'm sure there will be many upcoming comments and posts as to the merits of the Colby Rasmus deal in terms of value (For the record i'm very much in favour of the trade and don't think we lost very much of value although I will miss Zach Stewart and Scrabble) but what I find more interesting is where the outfield sits now. I thought I'd seperate it out into 3 stages which obviously involves a great deal of wild speculation on my part but indulge me.
Today: Left Field: Travis Snider (Before I go much further I should mention I am a huge Snider supporter and think it's way too early to think he's not part of the future). Centre Field: Colby Ramus and Right Field: Eric Thames
This looks pretty good to me, a fairly significant improvement. I still don't buy that Snider should be in left and Thames should be in right but that's not a huge deal. Also Rajai Davis is only functional as a bench player.
The next step (which may be very very close obviously) is the Brett Lawrie callup.
Then we have Jose in right, Colby in centre and Snider in left. This outfield can mash the ball. I kind of assumed Snider would play in the field over Thames because he has a better arm and their range is likely similar. This presumably puts Thames at DH at a very early stage of his development which might not be the best thing. Encarnacian would also lose at-bats and despite the fact he has been good in July that is no great tragedy. I assume Davis's reps would remain similar, although largely I don't care.
The last step is the most interesting and the one requiring the greatest deal of speculation and what if's. Given the Rasmus addition what happens if/when (I'm inclined to believe it's a when around 2013, mayb later in 2012 if we are lucky) Anthony Gose is ready.
From what I understand Gose's value is largely defensive and even at this moment his defense would be far better that Rasmus's so he would be in centre. Right field belongs to Jose if he wants it and we have a viable 3B (if Lawrie isn't that alot of people are going to be disapointed). That leaves Rasmus, Snider and Thames all to battle for LF and DH. Some one is going to be left out in the cold. The easy pick is Thames and I understand why expectations for him should be tempered but he also appears to be a talented hitter and has hit wherever he's been. It is possible one of these players won't pan out to the extent he will find a role on the bench or be ushered unceremoiously to another team. Perhaps at this point Jose would be ready to be a DH or Lawrie has mved somewhere else and we need him at 3B. Both of these seem unlikely. Whichever way you slice it there will be an outfield surplus at some point in the near future it seems.(I haven't even considered other OF prospects like Sierra, Marisnick, Knecht or Crouse although only Sierra is nearly as close to the bigs as Gose)
With the trade deadline four days away AA could make me look stupid in the blink of an eye and destroy all these projections but the situation developing seems to be an interesting one. My crystal ball tells me that Thames and Snider probably can't co-exist now Rasmus is in town. Looking down the road is it possible one of those guys gets traded in the next 2 years? Also is one of them setting themselves up for a long tenure as our DH? I think it would be kind of comforting to have a long time reliable DH for once but that's fairly irrational. Everything can change so quickly but the outfield picture is looking murky with even murkier waters ahead.