The Colby Rasmus saga in St. Louis has come to an end. The talented, but inconsistent, young centerfielder was shipped to Toronto with teammates Trever Miller, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters for pitchers Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel and outfielder Corey Patterson.
“This move was done to definitely support the 2011 club, and we feel it definitely gives us a better chance of winning today,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “In terms of flexibility for next year, it frankly just adds to it.”
This trade seemed inevitable ever since Rasmus requested a trade last season. Essentially, Rasmus and manager Tony La Russa have never seen eye-to-eye. The 24-year-old would always turn to his father, Tony Rasmus, for hitting assistance. That never sat well with La Russa, who verbally stated just days ago he believes Rasmus was never consistent because he did not listen to Cardinal coaches.
Regardless, Rasmus was long considered to have perennial All-Star potential and has always been labeled as a five-tool player (speed, defense, strong arm, power and hit for average). The problem is St. Louis had never seen all five of those things at once, just flashes of what could be. Rasmus always had speed, but sometimes did not get to balls he should be capable of getting to in the outfield. Sometimes his throws were “rainbows” and bounced in from the outfield, but sometimes they were very strong. He would go on a power streak, but then quiet down for extended periods of time. He began the year hitting well over .300, but currently has an average below .250.
Although he has yet to hit his prime years and is cost controlled through 2014, the Cardinals became frustrated with Rasmus in his third Major League season. Rather than continuing to grow as a player, his progress seemed to go in the opposite direction. Combine that with the inability to get along with La Russa and it is clear to see why the Cardinals dealt potential for known quantities.
Jackson is an interesting case because, much like Rasmus, he is inconsistent. He has all this stuff to be great (and he has been), but there are times he has been bad. Jackson will join the starting rotation where Cards hope pitching coach Dave Duncan can work his magic on Jackson to make him into someone special. Only 27 years old, Jackson is eligible for free agency after this season and is putting up these numbers so far…
Jackson, 2011: 7-7, with a 3.92 ERA, 97 strikeouts and 39 walks in 121.2 innings
Rzepczynski could end up being the biggest part of this deal. It gives the Cards a talented left-handed reliever who is under team control until the 2017 season. The 25-year-old has pitched two innings for St. Louis already, and has had an impressive season thus far…
Rzepczynski, 2011: 2-3, with a 2.83 ERA, 37 walks, 15 walks, and has held lefties to a .158 average in 44.1 innings
Dotel is less about the future, and more about this year and possibly next year. The 37-year-old is in the twilight of his career, but could definitely offer the Cardinals a much needed bullpen boost. If the club chooses to pick up Dotel’s 2012 option, it would cost them $3.5 million. The veteran has had another solid season this year…
Dotel, 2011: 2-1, with a 3.56 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 13 walks in 30.1 innings
Patterson is also an interesting part of this deal, as he was somewhat similar to Rasmus. He was considered close to a five-tool player with a lot of potential. It just never really panned out for Patterson, and at the age of 31, he finds himself as a fourth outfielder. Nevertheless, he offers depth and is having a decent year…
Patterson, 2011: .253/.287/.378, with 6 homers, 16 doubles, 34 RBIs and a 1.000 fielding percentage
This trade also rids the Cardinals of Miller, Tallet and Walters. As good as Miller was last season, he just has not been the same and has struggled to get outs this year. Tallet began this year pretty well, but has since fallen off the map. Both were not on St. Louis’ radar beyond this season. Walters is probably a spot starter at best, who will most likely spend most of his career in Triple-A. The deal is not officially completed, as the Cardinals are in the process of deciding whether they will also take three players to be named later or cash considerations.
- Add me on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter