Weeks of speculation ended today, as the Cardinals traded Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Joe Strauss announces the details here. St Louis obtains the supremely talented and underachieving Edwin Jackson, a good set-up man in Octavio Dotel, a desperately needed LOOGY in Marc Rzepczynski, and former Cub Corey Patterson.
As far as the pieces in the trade, Dotel resurrected his career as a setup and seventh inning man in recent years, and still throws fairly hard. With Eduardo Sanchez probably lost for the year this isn’t such a bad move. The LOOGY fills a glaring need in this bullpen. I can’t imagine why the Cardinals would want another OF, especially one with his best years behind him like Patterson. Like a lot of clubs the Cardinals are very deep in the outfield; they don’t need Patterson.
Jackson? He has top of the rotation stuff. He’s never been a top of the rotation guy. He’s been good this year but was still just the #3 or 4 pitcher in Chicago’s rotation. And St Louis will be his fourth team in 3 years – that’s got to count against him (from the ‘if he’s so good, why does he keep getting traded?’ school of thought).
They got 4 guys for Rasmus, but I’m not convinced these 4 guys are as valuable as Rasmus.
As for trading Colby in the first place. By my very informal count, this is the third player traded away because LaRussa couldn’t get along with them (the others being Scott Rolen and Brendan Ryan). I found it funny yesterday that one of the Cardinal writers (I think it was Bernie, I can’t find the article now) mentioned the Cardinals really need a defensive shortstop. That’s the only thing Ryan did well, and he was banished to the Great Northwest.
Jon Jay is a fine player and will do very well as the everyday CF. I object to the Cardinals being forced to trade players because of personality issues. LaRussa is 66 years old; every year he takes longer deliberating on whether to come back and manage, which means his final year in uniform is very close. Why do we continue to put an inferior product on the field (none of Rolen’s replacements have been as good defensively as he is, same so far for Ryan), why do we continue to hurt our team’s chances of advancing into the post-season, to placate an increasingly curmudgeonly manager?
Is this team better in the short-term without Rasmus? Yes – all the infighting had gotten into Rasmus’ head, and he was not playing well. Will the team be better long-term without him? No idea, time will tell. Based on the fact that the team has not been better without Rolen, and has not been better without Ryan (so far), I’m a little pessimistic.