St. Louis Cardinals: How Colby Rasmus Trade Will Benefit Them

Kara RicheyContributor IIJuly 27, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 12:  Colby Rasmus #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 12, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 9-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Colby Rasmus has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in an eight -player deal. After weeks of denying that the young center fielder was available, team St. Louis GM John Mozeliak finally decided to bite the bullet and trade the unhappy star. The Cardinals will receive Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski and Corey Patterson in exchange for Rasmus, Trevor Miller, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters.

Jackson should replace Kyle McClellan in the starting rotation. Jackson has had an up-and-down season for the Chicago White Sox this season, posting a 7-7 record with a 3.92 ERA. He has only averaged 6.1 innings a start this season, but he will allow the Cardinals to send McClellan back to the bullpen. McClellan has been a capable fifth starter this season for the club, but he will add a stable presence to a bullpen that has been worn down as of late.

Dotel will provide another veteran presence for the bullpen. The reliever has posted a 3.68 ERA this season while playing in the tough AL East. He will replace Walters in the bullpen. Walters has been called up each of the last three seasons, and has made appearances as both a starter and reliever. But he has never really found his footing in St. Louis.

Rzepczynski will address another huge need for the club—a quality lefty reliever. The team has seen it’s share of struggles in this area, with Miller, Tallet and Raul Valdes all being unreliable facing left-handed sluggers. Rzepczynski has been most effective against lefties, posting a .159 BAA and 22 strikeouts versus only 11 hits. He will be a great asset against the NL Central, facing lefties such as Joey Votto and Prince Fielder.

Patterson will serve as a fourth outfielder, helping to back up Jon Jay and Matt Holliday, and giving the Cardinals some rest for Lance Berkman, who is currently nursing a strained rotator cuff. Patterson will also bring an element of speed to the club. The Cardinals rank dead last in the NL in stolen bases this season.

This trade has allowed the Cardinals to address several weaknesses without sacrificing too much. By adding both starting and relieving pitching, the Cardinals should now be the front-runners for the NL Central division title.