Once again, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has made a surprise move in trading for a player he has long coveted. For over two years Anthopoulos has had his eye on a young centre fielder in St.Louis by the name of Colby Rasmus and today he acquired him to play in Toronto.
Similar to the way that Yunel Escobar and Brett Lawrie fell out of favour with their old franchises in Atlanta and Milwaukee respectively, Rasmus was not making progress in St.Louis. He was not taking to the overall instruction he received from the Cardinals franchise and his playing time was reduced in favour of Jon Jay in the outfield. This was the opening Anthopoulos needed in constructing this deal. It took some major steps, but the deal was completed and the Jays have their man in Rasmus.
The hope is that Rasmus will turn things around in a fresh environment similar to the way Escobar and Lawrie have. Rasmus is only 24-years old and had an excellent rookie season (.251, 16HR, 52RBI) and followed it up with an even better sophomore campaign (.276, 23HR, 66RBI, 12SB). Despite losing playing time, his numbers this season have been decent (.246, 11HR, 40RBI in 94GP) and the potential for excellence is certainly there.
The Jays had to complete two separate trades today to get Rasmus to Toronto. The initial trade came with the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays sent relief pitcher Jason Frasor and pitching prospect Zach Stewart to the White Sox for starter Edwin Jackson and utility player Mark Teahen.
A few hours later Jackson, outfielder Corey Patterson and relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel were traded to the Cardinals for Rasmus and relievers Brian Tallet, Trever Miller and P.J. Walters. The Jays will also send three players to be named later or cash considerations to the Cardinals in the future.
The loss of a prospect such as Stewart and a young arm such as Rzepczynski is a tough one for Toronto, but with a gain as big as Rasmus you have to give up talent as well. Anthopoulos had this to say about the loss of Stewart, “He’s someone that fit well for them and someone that they liked, you never want to give up young talent. You don’t want to give up prospects. But we do have a lot of depth with our starters. That made it a lot easier to part with a starting prospect.”
The additions of the former Jay Tallet, as well as Miller and Walters seem to be a way of supplementing the loss of Frasor, Dotel and Rzepczynski in the bullpen and the added bonus of the Candian Teahen will add some strentgth and versatility to Toronto’s bench, but today was all about Toronto and Rasmus.
Anthopoulos wanted his man and found a way to bring him to Toronto. In my opinion, it is just another scenario where Toronto’s GM has gone out and bettered the team while figuring out a way to get the job done. If Rasmus pans out the way and shines in this new enviroinment in Toronto the deal could be another outstanding notch in Anthopoulous’ proverbial baseball belt.
Published by: Suite 101
Published article link: http://www.suite101.com/content/blockbuster-day-of-trades-for-blue-jays-a381858