Colby Rasmus Traded To Blue Jays In Monster Deal

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Cardinals Reportedly Turned Down A Colby Rasmus Trade Offer From Rays

The Colby Rasmus trade is all official, as the Blue Jays sacrificed very little of long-term value in order to bring in a highly talented outfielder, while the Cardinals sacrificed a highly talented outfielder for parts of more immediate worth. It's an exciting trade for Toronto, and an exciting trade for St. Louis in a very different way.

But before the Blue Jays came up with the winning offer, the Cardinals fielded a number of offers from other teams, and Jon Heyman has details on one of them:

cards turned down niemann and howell for rasmus, reports

Jeff Niemann would've provided the desired rotation boost, while J.P. Howell would've provided the desired bullpen boost. Niemann is also under team control through 2014, while Howell is under team control through 2012. But the Cardinals didn't think this was enough, and well, that's their decision. Assuming this is even true. It's probably true, but it could easily be false.

As an additional detail, contrary to what was previously reported, the Blue Jays will hang on to Trever Miller, rather than send him to the White Sox. I know that changes your Wednesday.

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Colby Rasmus Trade Sends Outfielder To Blue Jays In Blockbuster

The Colby Rasmus trade between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays that was rumored earlier Wednesday has, apparently, gone down. Jon Morosi issues the confirmation:

acquire Rasmus, Miller, Walters, Tallet from for Jackson, Dotel, Rzepczynski, Patterson and 3 PTBNL OR CASH.

The three players to be named later and the cash considerations are new details. Everything else, we already knew. So, to review:

Cardinals get:

  • A decent but inconsistent righty starter who's a free agent after the year in Edwin Jackson
  • A veteran late-inning reliever in Octavio Dotel
  • An effective lefty reliever with several remaining years of team control in Marc Rzepczynski
  • A veteran fourth outfielder in Corey Patterson
  • Some PTBNLs - typically of low value - or cash

Blue Jays get:

  • A super talented 24-year-old outfielder badly in need of a change of scenery in Colby Rasmus
  • Assorted pitchers, one of whom will reportedly be flipped to the White Sox

This was a hard situation for the Cardinals. In St. Louis, Rasmus didn't get along with Tony La Russa, struggled to achieve a consistent performance, and lately lost some playing time to Jon Jay. There were very real and legitimate concerns about whether Rasmus could become an impact player in that environment.

So, for the Cards, he isn't an enormous loss, and the trade makes the team immediately better as it sets its sights on the 2011 playoffs. But still, they sold Rasmus near the trough of his value, and the Blue Jays are most certainly excited to land him for what, to them, is a low cost. Even with his struggles, Rasmus owns a career 111 OPS+, and last season OPS'd .859. Given the team's experience with Yunel Escobar, they have reason to believe they can get Rasmus on track.

It's the right move for Toronto, and a potentially spectacular move for their future. For Rasmus, they sacrificed very little of organizational value, and now they have an outfielder who could be part of the team's core for years. As for St. Louis, at least this ends what was an ugly saga. The front office will catch flak for this trade - and it should, because Rasmus is a valuable asset - but they clearly didn't think Rasmus was going to work out where he was, and who knows, maybe they're right. If both parties can move on content, there's an argument to be made that both parties won.

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Colby Rasmus Trade To Blue Jays Being Finalized

It's all coming together with breathtaking speed. Earlier on Wednesday, Edwin Jackson was traded from the White Sox to the Blue Jays, and the rumor was that the Blue Jays would then flip Jackson to the Cardinals in a package for Colby Rasmus. Now we learn that a Colby Rasmus trade is all but done. From the usual sources, Heyman:

rasmus for edwin jackson plus others has been agreed to. $ has to be OK'ed by commish.

And Olney:

The trade: Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters for Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Dotel and Corey Patterson.

So the only thing left before this is official is for the commissioner's office to rubber stamp it along. That will finalize what looks right now to be a deal heavily lopsided in Toronto's favor. The Cardinals will end up with a decent starter, two effective relievers and a versatile backup outfielder, but the Blue Jays will get the big prize in Rasmus, who is unthinkably talented and has simply had trouble getting along with Tony La Russa. Nobody knows if Rasmus will reach his potential in another organization, but it's the right chance to take. Just look at the success the Jays have had with Yunel Escobar, who was rushed out of Atlanta.

Word has it that the Jays will send Trever Miller to the White Sox once this deal is done. Maybe I'm burying the lede.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Colby Rasmus Deal To Blue Jays 'Imminent'

When word got out about Wednesday's Edwin Jackson trade, some eyebrows were raised, as Jackson didn't fit with the Blue Jays. The assumption at that point was that the Blue Jays would turn around and try to deal Jackson elsewhere. Now according to Joe Strauss, not only are the Jays looking at Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus - a Rasmus trade involving Jackson is "imminent."

Trade of Rasmus to Toronto imminent for Jackson, Dotel, Rzepczynski.

Toronto flipping Jackson to St. Louis for Rasmus has been the Wednesday rumor. What was not clear was that the whole package would be so underwhelming.

True, this deal would provide the Cardinals with three useful pieces. Jackson is a fine if inconsistent rental starter who would allow the team to bump Kyle McClellan to the bullpen. Marc Rzepczynski is an effective lefty reliever under team control for years and years. And Octavio Dotel is a proven late power arm who could only further stabilize what's been an iffy group of relievers.

But, in Rasmus, we're talking about one of the premier young outfield talents in baseball. If this trade goes down - which is not guaranteed, but which is overwhelmingly likely - the Cardinals will truly be selling low.

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MLB Trade Rumors: White Sox Talking To Cardinals About Colby Rasmus

According to Joe Strauss, the Cardinals are getting serious about trading Colby Rasmus:

Publicly insistent that they are not seeking a destination for center fielder Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals have made the struggling 24-year-old talent available for the right deal with the Chicago White Sox, according to several sources familiar with the situation.

--snip--

Negotiations with White Sox general manager Kenny Williams have accelerated in recent days, according to sources, with the Sox able to make available pending free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson or high-salary lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton.

Whatever you think about the Cardinals and their relationship with Rasmus, it's become crystal clear that Tony La Russa isn't ever going to become the President (or even Chief Bottle Washer) of the Colby Rasmus Fan Club. Of course it's not helping the situation, that Rasmus has gotten progressively worse with each month this season, after a strong April.

Rasmus did start against the Pirates Sunday afternoon, but Jon Jay had been the Cardinals' starting center fielder in six of the club's last nine games. Both players bat left-handed and there's really nowhere else for Jay to play; not with Matt Holliday in left field and Lance Berkman in right.

So if management really wants to trade for pitching, the obvious move is trading one of the center fielders. And perhaps trading the one who's not in the manager's doghouse, even if he's the younger and (probably) more talented of the two.

Needless to say, Edwin Jackson would represent a huge upgrade over Kyle McClellan in the rotation. And while the six-man rotation's been a ton of fun, it's probably a luxury the White Sox can no longer afford. Plus, acquiring Rasmus could pay off for years, as he still projects as a pretty good major leaguer and won't get truly expensive for another three or four years.

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