Cards GM says Rasmus won't be traded

Cards GM says Rasmus won't be traded

ST. LOUIS -- Speaking at the Cardinals' first Social Media Night on Thursday night, general manager John Mozeliak told fans that the club has no interest in trading Colby Rasmus, that he expects payroll to go up in the next three years and that he hopes to have some resolution regarding manager Tony La Russa's status early in the winter.

Mozeliak addressed a crowd of approximately 100 fans who purchased tickets through a Social Media Night promotion. Team president Bill DeWitt III also spoke, as did some members of the local sports media, as well as prominent figures in St. Louis social media. Mozeliak answered questions that fans sent in via Twitter as well as taking some questions from the audience.

Asked about what positions he felt could be upgraded for 2011, Mozeliak declined to name any specifics, other than to say that the Cardinals need to improve their offense. He did refer to catcher, first base, left field and center field as "locked" positions, an unsurprising statement that Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Rasmus figure in the team's plans for next year.

In response to a separate question about Rasmus, he spoke more forcefully regarding the status of the young outfielder. Rasmus requested a trade earlier this season, but has since said that he's happy in St. Louis.

"A lot of times players, out of frustration or for whatever reason, may go into a meeting and come out saying some things they may regret," Mozeliak said. "But a lot of times, you have to understand, these things never get out there. In this particular case, it's been festering for a while. But I can assure you, Colby's not going to be traded. I can also assure you that some of the things he's dealing with are typical growing pains that young players go through. When I look at the talent he brings to the table, and when I think about how I could replace that, I realize that would be a very difficult task ahead."

Asked about whether the team's player payroll might move upward from its current position around $100 million, Mozeliak said that he expects that to happen.

"When I think of payroll right now, I always think in that kind of $95 to $105 [million] range type thing -- it just depends on what the makeup of the club looks like," Mozeliak said. "When I look at '11, '12, '13, I do anticipate that we probably will have some kind of incremental increase, just to continue to make sure that we can support the current club we have, and knowing that we have to reallocate some of our resources to the payroll. So I do envision that going up at some point, yes."

And as for La Russa, Mozeliak said that he hopes to have the manager's situation sorted out sooner than later. Asked whether there would be a timetable established, Mozeliak said there would be.

"The answer is going to be yes," he said. "In terms of what that looks like today, I'm not sure. One of the things we want to make sure we do is we answer this question sooner than later. Because if we have to go out and look for a manager, it's a lot of time, you've got to spend a lot of resources. ... We want to make sure we get this team right. So we're going to be aggressive on both fronts [manager and the roster]. I don't know where Tony's head is on this, but after this season ends I'll go out to dinner with him one night and we'll talk about it. Hopefully we'll have the answer quick, though."