The St. Louis Cardinals today took part in a three team trade that sent young center fielder Colby Rasmus out of the NL Central. The Cardinals ended up getting Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson in return for Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters.
In the short term, the Cardinals upgraded their team, adding two good bullpen options (Rzepczynski from the left side, Dotel from the right side) in exchange for a struggling left hander in Tallet, and an aging left hander in Miller. They also added Edwin Jackson, who is having a good year on the mound, with a 3.92 ERA in 121.2 innings.
In the long term, the Cardinals trade a very talented center fielder, mostly due to a feud between Rasmus and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. Rasmus is having a bit of a down year this year, but hit for a .276/.361/.498 line with 23 homers as a 23 year old in 2010, while playing great defense in center field. Ultimately, the Cardinals will end up with Rzepczynski and two Type B compensation picks in the long term for Rasmus, as Patterson and Jackson are pending free agents, while Dotel has an option for $3.5 M in 2012, with a $750 K buyout.
A lot of Pirates fans wanted the Pirates to add Rasmus. That would have been great, but I never really thought the Cardinals would deal him in the division. Instead, Pirates fans can settle for the consolation prize: the Cardinals just traded away a very talented, young center fielder, and the only long term piece they received in the deal was a left handed reliever who can occasionally fill in for the rotation.