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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