Rasmus dealt to Blue Jays

The news has hit the major media outlets. Colby Rasmus is no longer a St. Louis Cardinal. Neither is Trever Miller or P.J. Walters either.

It’s a trade that’s not getting a lot of love from any fans that I know of. And those who are somewhat positive about the deal, still think we didn’t get enough in return for the 24 year old former first round draft pick.

The trade that will send Rasmus, Miller, and Walters to Toronto will bring in four players to the St. Louis Cardinals. Those players are Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski, and Corey Patterson.

Not very exciting at all to fans, especially after rumors of Tampa Bay’s offering of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, or Alex Cobb in return for Rasmus.

Edwin Jackson, 27, is the centerpiece of the return parts, if you can call him that. He has a 3.92 ERA and a 7-7 record this season in 19 starts for the White Sox. Toronto finalized a deal to acquire Jackson this morning with the hopes of flipping him to the Cardinals. Jackson is in the final year of a two year, $12.55 million contract and profiles to be a Type-B free agent this offseason.

My concerns on Jackson are that he struggled mightily in 2010 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, posting a 5.10 ERA with a 6-10 record in 21 starts before being traded to the White Sox. Can he pitch in the National League? That remains to be seen.

Octavio Dotel, 37, has a 3.68 ERA in 36 relief appearances for the Blue Jays this season. He has spent parts of 13 major league seasons with Houston, both New York teams, Oakland, Kansas City, Atlanta, the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Colorado. He is in the middle of a one year deal with Toronto that has a $3.5 million option for 2012 or a $750,000 buyout.

Marc Rzepczynski, 25, is the best player the Cardinals are getting back in the deal. He is a left handed reliever who has posted a 2.97 ERA in 43 relief appearances for the Blue Jays this year. He immediately becomes the Cardinals’ best left handed reliever as he allows left handed batters to hit just .159 against him this year with a .203 slugging percentage. And he isn’t too shabby against right handed batters either, allowing them just .243. He is still under team control for what looks to be another four seasons at least. To be fair, quality left handed relief is something the Cardinals system has lacked for years.

The final piece of the puzzle is Corey Patterson. Patterson, 31, is identifiable to Cardinals’ fans as a former Chicago Cubs outfielder. He is hitting .252 with 6 HR in 89 games with Toronto this season. His OBP is a paltry .287. Patterson will assumedly take on the fourth outfielder role on the Cardinals’ roster while Jon Jay becomes the starting center fielder. It is interesting to note that in his last 422 at bats for National League teams he hit .197.

Am I happy with the returns? Not at all. Jackson has shown an inability to pitch regularly in the National League. Dotel is essentially Miguel Batista. I’ve questioned for years whether Patterson deserved to be on a major league roster, and the left handed reliever is the only player I like in the deal.

Because of all the players involved, it’s far more difficult to classify this as a dump than it was the Brendan Ryan trade during the offseason. However, it has that feel.

However, this trade wasn’t made with the future of Colby Rasmus in mind. This trade was made to improve the 2011 team. Did it? Sure. Rzepczynski becomes the quality left hander this team’s bullpen had needed. The acquisition of Jackson allows us to move McClellan back into the bullpen where he has shown success before. Dotel should also help shore up the bullpen with a veteran arm. And Patterson just fills a gap because we have no one in the minor leagues ready to be our fourth outfielder.

You have to ask yourself what Colby Rasmus was going to contribute to this 2011 Cardinals’ team. The answer is not much at this point. He was on his way to becoming a bench player down the stretch.

It’s value to the Cardinals relies on getting performance out of Edwin Jackson the rest of the year. If we do, then it was a good trade for this year. After this year, it gets a little fuzzy, but the general idea is that you aren’t killing your future with the move of Rasmus. All that we really have out of Rasmus is hopes for a great, consistent performer.

The fun game then to play is what roster moves get made. You have essentially three new relievers that need spots. Miller and Walters were traded, that leaves one spot needed. The three potentials? Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, and Lance Lynn. Lynn has obviously pitched the best of the three, so it should come down to Motte or Boggs. Boggs was sent down before, but I think it has to be Motte. There is no pitcher less reliable to come in in a jam and shut down the other team than Motte. There were, but they got released.

Time will tell on this trade. First reaction is that I don’t like the returns we got, but it has potential to turn out well this year.

You can check me out, along with a few other United Cardinal Bloggers, talking about this and much more tonight on the United Cardinal Bloggers Radio Hour tonight at 10:30 pm eastern, 9:30 pm Cardinals time.

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