The St. Louis Cardinals have rid themselves of the headache that is Colby Rasmus by trading the 24-year-old outfielder to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Rasmus, the Cardinals' starting centerfielder, was traded along with relievers P.J. Walters, Brian Tallet and Trever Miller to the Jays for a package of unexceptional players unlikely to make much of an impact beyond this year, the teams announced Wednesday afternoon.
The deal amounts to a three-team deal with the Chicago White Sox. The Jays received Edwin Jackson and infielder Mark Teahan from the White Sox in a four-player deal, then shipped Jackson, outfielder Corey Patterson and relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski to the Cardinals.
The Blue Jays will also send three players to be named later or cash considerations to the Cardinals to complete the deal.
Thus ends a rocky 2 1/2 seasons between the promising outfielder and the Cardinals. He arrived in 2009 hailed as Albert Pujols' future wingman, but his relationship with the team soured last year despite batting .276 and starting 134 games in center field.
Various reports claimed Cardinals management had a strained relationship with Rasmus' father, Tony, who took an extremely active role in his son's playing career. Reports surfaced Tuesday that the team was shopping Rasmus, whose offensive production has fallen in every category this season.
Jackson has pitched for five teams in his nine-year career, going just 55-58 despite what scouts call ace-level stuff. Dotel saved 36 games for the Astros in 2004 and has a 1.91 WHIP this season as a late-inning setup man. Rzepczynski is a 25-year-old left-hander who will fill a need in the Cards' bullpen and challenge the St. Louis equipment manager's spelling skills. Patterson, 31, is an excellent defensive center fielder who can't hit or get on base.
This trade, if it goes through, won't alter this year's National League pennant race like a pending deal to send Carlos Beltran to the Giants, but a smart baseball man once told me to judge the winner of a trade by which team gets the most talented player in the deal. Rasmus is undeniably the most talented player involved in this deal, and Toronto got him at a very cheap price.