St. Louis Cardinals Trade News: Grading Their Deadline Deals
There's no better word to describe the St. Louis Cardinals' trade deadline deals than boisterous.
The Cards made a splash in late July, and cashed in on available talent at the deadline with the hopes that these new additions would propel them to the National League Central crown.
Is the gap between themselves and the brew crew a direct effect of their deadline deals?
Let's take a look at how the newcomers have done thus far and see for ourselves.
Trade for Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski
Let's go with the obvious here first.
Colby Rasmus was playing his way out of St. Louis. Not to mention, you don't clash with Tony LaRussa and refuse hitting advice from Mark McGwire and expect to stick around town for much longer.
The Cards felt this was their best opportunity to package him in return for players who could help them "win now."
So with Rasmus shipped north of the boarder, the Redbirds acquired starting pitcher Edwin Jackson as well as relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepcynski.
The early return on them?
Since being acquired, Jackson is 1-1 with a no decision. He's pitched at least six innings each of the three times he's taken the hill. In other words, he's been a capable No. 3 starter.
But the Cardinals will need him to kick it up a notch if they hope to reach October.
As far as Dotel goes, he's been the pitcher of record on the losing side once for the Cards, while picking up a hold and a save as well. In six of his eight outings, he's pitched an inning of hitless ball. He's been a welcomed veteran presence to the Cardinals 'pen, and an arm that bolsters their chances of playoff baseball in 2011.
Rzepcynski has also fared well in his short time in St. Louis. In six appearances out of the bullpen, the southpaw has surrendered just one earned run on four hits. He's also given Tony LaRussa another dependable late-game arm, something the Cards will need going forward.
Final Grade: B+
Trade for Rafael Furcal
The Cardinals addressed their one of their most glaring weaknesses by dealing for Rafael Furcal—their middle infield.
Skip Schumacher and Ryan Theriot weren't getting the job done up the middle, so the Cards went out and acquired the two-time All-Star shortstop.
They gave up outfield prospect Alex Castellanos, who's in the middle of what is easily his best season as a professional. With Lance Berkman not getting any younger, only time will tell if the Cards regret dealing him, but they appear to be in strict "win now" mode.
Furcal is just one year removed from a season in which he posted a .300 batting average, and his underwhelming .207 batting average in 2011 is more a product of the Dodgers' depth in the middle infield than anything else.
Furcal received sporadic playing time in Los Angeles, and it's tough to produce in that type of situation.
However, he's raised his average 10 points since arriving in St. Louis, so better times appear to be ahead for the seasoned veteran.
Final Grade: B