Trade Bait: Rizzo Traded Again, Now a Cubbie

Anyone getting the feeling that the major league front offices are starting to become one big fraternity? Theo Epstien’s regime, that came from Boston, just traded with a GM in San Diego (Josh Byrnes) who used to be an assistant under Theo as well as the current Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, for a player who was originally drafted by Boston.

Recently, the Cubs traded young pitcher right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na to the San Diego Padres for first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Zach Cates.

Rizzo, of course, is the centerpiece of this deal as he was a notable portion of the Adrian Gonzalez trade from the Padres to the Red Sox last winter and he has recently been displaced by the Mat Latos deal that brought Yonder Alonzo to play first base in San Diego. Though I’m not convinced he’s going to hit for a good average, he should be a good middle of the order hitter for the Cubs down the road.

Cates didn’t make Baseball America‘s top 10 list for the Padres for 2012, nor did he make the top 25 on Minor League Ball‘s preliminary list, though he was mentioned under “others”. But he ranked 16th on Minor League Ball’s prospect list for the Cubs (posted after the trade), stating that he has a live arm and could be a breakout candidate. He has a good fastball with a plus change, but he’s still working on his curveball.

Cashner is a power arm that could be an could be a candidate for the rotation, but that is doubtful anymore with his injury history. It is more likely that Cashner settles in towards the back of the bullpen for San Diego. But it is not all bad, he has the stuff that he could eventually be pretty good out of a setup role and possibly close out games.

Na is an outfielder with virtually no power and was caught in 1/3 of his stolen base attempts. On the good side, he’s only 19, very young for a player at Double-A and he produces a good walk rate. Regardless, he seems to be a forth or more likely fifth outfielder at this point. There’s an outside chance that he learns to steal bases efficiently and hits for a higher average as he matures, but I’d rather bet on Cates’s chance at success.

Anyone can tell you that if you can trade a reliever for a position player, do it. That adage is true with even this trade. If I had a belief that Cashner could stay healthy in a starting role, this trade would be much closer, but Andrew hasn’t sold me on that in his short career. The most interesting part of this trade though is that the Cubs intend to give first base to Bryan LaHair after his tremendous season at Triple-A last year, giving Rizzo a little more seasoning in the minors. Maybe they’re hopeful that LaHair will be able to produce well enough to draw some trade interest at some point during the season before they bring Rizzo up.

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Trade Bait: Marlins Catch Big Z…and his Baggage

Once again, the Miami Marlins are making a big splash in an effort to improve their team for 2012. They are hoping to catch lightening in a bottle by trading for the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano. It is an interesting move considering “Big Z’s” explosive personality and the fact that he hasn’t pitched as dominantly has he has in the past.

The Miami Marlins will only have to pay Zambrano $2.5 million of the $18 million he is owed. There’s also been a restructuring of his contract, Carlos has agreed to waive the vesting option for 2013 and they have also negotiated a $100,000 incentive into his contract if he becomes the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year. Regardless of how much they pay him, the Marlins should hope that he isn’t a negative impact on the team and that fellow Venezuelan Ozzie Guillen can keep him focused and on the right track throughout the season.

In return the Cubs receive former first round pick Chris Volstad. The 6′-8″ righty has eaten plenty of innings for the Marlins over the past few seasons, but has always been hittable and carried high ERAs. They have control over him for another couple seasons, allowing them to take their time with some of their younger pitching prospects in the minors. A change of scenery may be good for Volstad as well, but moving from the spatious park that the Marlins used to have to Wrigley doesn’t bode well for him if he is already struggling.

This is a decent trade for both sides. The Cubbies gutted their rotation even more, though they needed to get rid of Big Z from a PR standpoint. The move helps them start fresh, even though they have to pay most of his salary for the 2012 season. They need the gutting, not just of their entire rotation, but of the entire system. The Cubs need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

As for the Marlins, I’m getting worried about TEAM make up. It will be a tall order for Ozzie this season to balance all the personalities in the clubhouse, from the explosive Zambrano, to the nonchalant and now quietly disgruntled Hanley Ramirez, to Logan Morrison, who can’t keep his mouth shut he’ll have his hands full with just three players of a 25-man roster.

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Trade Bait: Athletics gutting continues with Bailey to Boston

Billy Beane has continued his assault on the complete tear down of his roster. The team’s closer, Andrew Bailey, has been shopped around for a while and is now in the hands of the Boston Red Sox. The Sox also land outfielder Ryan Sweeney in the package that sends Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara to the Athletics.

Bailey brings the Red Sox a solid closer and pushes new acquisition Mark Melancon to a setup role, a good 1-2 punch late in the game. There is speculation that the Sox will now move Daniel Bard to the rotation, taking them out of the Matt Garza bidding. I guess Ben Cherington’s old boss is asking too much for the Cubs’ starter.

The Red Sox also obtain outfielder Ryan Sweeney in the deal. Once a top prospect, Sweeney is now more of a fourth or fifth outfielder on a good team. He should passify as replacement for Josh Reddick‘s defense in Boston.

Josh Reddick had a very nice debut in Boston last season, but I’m not too fond of his minor league statistics. His offense may struggle in the spacious ballpark in Oakland. Josh is still young though and can develop into a reliable offensive cog, but don’t look for stardom out of him. Defensively, Reddick will fit in fine for the Athletics, some scouts say he has the range for center but his arm is perfect for right field.

Miles Head is a 20-year-old first base prospect that hit .299/.372/.515 between A and High-A ball last season. He was drafted as a third baseman and some dream that he could return there with his good arm strength, but the reality of his range, or lack thereof, forces him to stay at first rather than third or a corner outfield spot. Right-handed 1B/DHs with limited range seem to be a dime a dozen, Beane has collected more than his share alone in his tenure. But he will have to excel in the upper levels to remain a viable prospect.

If he develops as hoped, pitcher Raul Alcantara could be the catch of this deal. At 6′-3″ and 180 pounds, the young hurled has some projectabilty to his body. He already throws in the low to mid 90s, but it he has been unable to sustain high velocities, something that should be resolved as he fills out. He has two mediocre off-speed offerings, but he’s also plenty young and could improve on those relatively fast. He could turn into a starter, but I see him as more of a two-pitch reliever down the road.

In addition to the prospects brought back, the Athletics will clear out nearly $5 million in salary with this deal. Bailey’s projected $3.5 million and Sweeney’s projected $1.6 million post-arbitration figures will be coming off the books, with only Reddick’s currently on the major league roster.

With concerns over Bailey’s elbow and the reliever market overflowing, Beane wasn’t going to get top dollar in return for his closer. But he did marginally improve his outfield while taking a gamble on a couple risky low-level young prospects with upside. All that while shedding some salary as well. If Bailey’s arm holds up, Boston made out really well too. They now have a very strong back end to their bullpen. I’m just not sold on Daniel Bard possibly moving into the rotation.

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Trade Bait: National GIOgraphic

The Gio Gonzalez sweepstakes are over and the Washington Nationals have won. With their bid of Brad Peacock, A.J. Cole, Derek Norris, and Tom Milone, the Nats were able to add the valued lefty and minor league righty Robert Gilliam. The Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, Rangers, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees were all rumored to be interested in Gonzalez before he was dealt.

Gio is under team control through 2015 and has pitched over 200 innings each of his last two seasons. But it is likely that his high walk rates will catch up to him sooner or later. He will be relying on Ryan Zimmerman and the rest of the Nationals infield to turn plenty of double plays to keep his ERA down. But if he makes progress with his walks, Gio could vault the Nationals’ rotation towards the top of a tough pitching-centric NL East.

Gilliam is more of a throw-in on this deal. Although he has decent strikeout rates in the minors, his peripherals aren’t that great. He may be decent for the Nats in a relief role. Sure, his stats this season were from a very hitter-friendly ballpark in Stockton, but still, I’m not sold on him becoming a significant contributor.

The return for Gonzalez isn’t completely Latos’-esque, but it is still very good.  Peacock and especially A.J. Cole are the top finds of this deal for the A’s. Peacock has a four-seam fastball in the 92-95 mph range, a 2-seamer, and a change-up that has shown signs of improvement. But his best pitch is a nasty plus knuckle-curve.

It is Cole that I really like about this trade. The young 6′-5″ starter still needs to finish growing into his body and refining his change, but A.J. has the potential to be much better than Peacock, though he’ll reach the majors much later. Along with the change, Cole possesses a hard-cutting curve and a mid-90s fastball that could get faster as he fills out. A.J.’s ceiling is the tops amongst the players in this transaction. But he’s so young, its still certainly possible that he gets injured or fizzles out before reaching the Majors.

Derek Norris has been a top catching prospect of the Nats for a while. But he’s had two very down seasons the last two years and his stock has dropped significantly. Analysts still love his walk rates and power, but I’m not sold on his ability to hit above the Mendoza Line in the big show.

Milone is the wildcard for me. He might not have the blazing fastball of the other top pitching prospects, but just just knows how to pitch. For his entire minor league career, Milone has carried a BB/9 of 1.5, unlike Gio he keeps away from the free passes. As a Greg Maddux fan, I’m always rooting for those who know how to pitch beyond blowing hitters away with their heat. He may not be a future #2 starter, but Milone should log some quality innings for the A’s while the rest of the top young pitching prospects in the Athletics minor leagues develop.

The more I look at this trade, the more I like it from the Athletics’ side. In my eyes, Cole has the most upside of all the players involved in the Latos and Gonzalez trades. But he also has significant risk as a young arm. The Nationals are certainly in a win-now type of mode with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and that Bryce Harper guy all on the cusp of breaking out with Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth.

Pretty nice trade for both sides considering their situations, but I like the long-term return for the Athletics better.

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Trade Bait: Mat Latos to the Reds

With everyone centering on the availability of Gio Gonzalez, Matt Garza, and possibly a surplus starter from the Rays, the Padres struck first in unloading their top pitcher for prospects. Though they didn’t have to get rid of Mat Latos, the bounty they received was hard to pass up. Yesterday the Padres traded Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger.

Cincy gets a starter with near-ace like stuff that is not even arbitration eligible yet. Latos is a good pitcher, but he does lack enough command of his fast ball and the mound presence to be a true ace pitcher. Quite a few talent evaluators have been talking about his personality and how it keeps him from being an ace. But there’s no doubting that he is one of the best pitcher available on the market.

Volquez was great for the Reds after his trade from the Rangers a few years ago, but Tommy John surgery has derailed his career. His first full season back from the surgery didn’t so well, posting a 5.71 ERA in the process. But it is a common belief that a pitcher doesn’t fully recover until his second full year back from the surgery. Getting out of Great American Ballpark and moving into PETCO will help as well. Even though it won’t help his absurd 5.38 BB/9, it should help knock down his 20.7% HR/FB. It is completely possible that Volquez rebounds this season and becomes a viable trade target at the deadline this July.

Alonso creates a logjam at first with Anthony Rizzo. But Yonder is more suited for PETCO than Rizzo, his line drive stroke fits better than the fly ball hitter that Rizzo is. Rizzo immediately becomes trade bait and a number of teams may be interested, including the Cubs, Rays, and Pirates.

Grandal is a top catching prospect and is not far from the majors. He could push Nick Hundley aside by July, giving the team additional trade bait beyond Volquez. He’s a premium prospect at a premium position.

Although some feel the Brad Boxberger could become a starter or close, he looks more like a setup man. He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a curve, but his changeup is inconsistent. Brad looks like the type of relieve that should excel in PETCO….then again the Padres seem to make prized relievers out of nearly anybody in that ballpark.

There is a feeling that the Reds are taking advantage of a “down” NL Central with this clearly “win now” move. With the Cubs rebuilding, the Brewers without Prince Fielder and the Cardinals without Albert Pujols some believe their time is now. But the Cardinals pitching will be better with Waino back in the rotation and the Brewers will be better, without Prince, than many believe. The Reds gave up just too much for a #2 starter.

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Trade Bait: Sergio Santos to Toronto

The White Sox roster is open for business!

Kenny Williams signaled that he was open for business on most of his roster by trading away a closer that he just recently signed to a long-term contract. Sergio Santos was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in a one-for-one swap that sent pitcher Nestor Molina to the Sox. Soon after it was announced, Kenny Williams stated his team was now fully in a rebuilding mode. “This is the start of a rebuilding,” stated Williams to the media. But he also made it clear that it is not, “the start of falling domino rebuilding.” as in a complete fire sale is not likely. Kenny will have to find good deals in order to deal away talent, he’s not specifically getting rid of everything available.

In Santos, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos receives a closer that was completely dominant last season, expecially early on. Santos is also signed to a three-year deal with an additional three option years tacked on if the Blue Jays want to pick them up at some point. It is seemingly a pretty team-friendly contract that should work out well for Anthopoulos. No longer will Alex have to piece together a short-term solution of closer position for the upcoming season, much like what he’s done his first few years at the helm.

In order to land Santos the Blue Jays gave up promising pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Molina, a converted infielder/outfielder, enjoyed a breakout first season as a starting pitcher in the Jays system warming up to pitching through a relief role earlier in his career. There are many mixed views in Molina from the various prospect mavens. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo is intrigued by his four-pitch mix and his control (16 BB/148 K ratio), however, ESPN’s Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein are less impressed. Molina has a low-90s fastball, a slider/curve (depending on who you talk to), a changeup, and a splitter that is possibly his best offering. His detractors point to his lack of a fastball, necessitating pin-point control in the majors and his iffy breaking ball.

Molina looks like more of a future #4 starter at this point, but he could develop into a #3 with a little more honing of his off-speed stuff and better command of his pitches. A switch back to the bullpen could result in a few more mph on his fastball and the ditching of his breaking ball and possibly change, making him an ideal candidate to set up.

I like this deal for Alex and the Jays. He picked up an electric closer with a low amount of mileage on his arm for a prospect pitcher that isn’t projected to impact a the Sox as much as Santos will help the Jays.

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Trade Bait: Indians buy Low on Lowe

The Atlanta Braves are becoming well known for making notable moves within days of the beginning of the offseason. Last year it was a trade for Dan Uggla in mid-November, a few years ago it was trading Edgar Renteria to the Detroit Tigers. They’ve done it again, this time it’s Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians. The Braves will include Lowe, and all but $5 million of his salary in return for Single-A reliever Chris Jones.

Lowe certainly hasn’t been the pitcher for the Bravos that he was in Los Angeles and the team had already noted that he would be moved to a relief spot if he was on the team still in 2011. Yet, even with his regression (10.2 H/9 and 3.4 BB/9), Derek owned the second largest groundball rate in all of baseball last season. But that doesn’t typically work out too well with Uggla at second and an aging Chipper Jones at the hot corner.

With Lowe, the Indians now have three of the top groundball pitchers in baseball in their rotation. Between he,  Justin Masterson, and Fausto Carmona the Indians infielders will not be bored in 2012. Lowe also brings a veteran pressence and signficant post season experience to a rotation that also includes Ubaldo Jimenez and Josh Tomlin. If Derek can survive in his return to the American League, he should be a good addition to this young team.

The Braves on the other hand free up $5 million in dedicated payroll and open up a spot in their rotation for Randall Delgado or top pitching prospect Julio Teheran, as well as allow Mike Minor to move out of the 5th spot. Either pitcher was likely to outperform Lowe in 2012 and certainly beyond. When teamed with the $9.4 million the team will save in paying the buyout on Nate McLouth‘s recently declined option, the Braves have freed up approximately $14.4 million of possible payroll. However, declining McLouth’s option was already assumed and the team has a couple players eligible for healthy jumps in arbitration in Michael Bourn and Jair Jurrjens.

Reliever Chris Jones is nearly a throw-in on the deal. Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein notes that he has a good breaking ball and deception and profiles as possible future LOOGY. It’ll be a bonus if Jones develops into that relief role, but not something the Braves are ultimately counting on. 

It’s possible that the extra $5 million will help the team land a notable free agent bat in the outfield, but it is unlikely. Though it has surpassed a $100 million payroll a couple times in the past decade, the team keeps crying “poor”.

But you never know what GM Frank Wren has up his sleve. Rather than letting Jair Jurrjens retire for the offseason, they sent him to instructional league, possibly as a showcase. With Delgado, Teheran, and Arodys Vizcaino knocking on the door and Kris Medlen returning, the Braves are stocked with pitching talent. Don’t rule a Jurrjens trade for a big bat out of the question.

Overall, this is a decent move for both sides. It’s a relatively risky move for the Indians if they want to count on Lowe in the rotation. But if that doesn’t work out, Lowe pitched well as a closer in the past. A $5 million reliever isn’t all that bad.

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Trade Bait: Ubaldo Jimenez to…Cleveland?

Even more improbable than the trade for Hunter Pence was the trade for Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez. Even up to the last few hours before he was traded, pundits stated that the chances of a trade were less than 50/50. But not only did it happen, Jimenez went to a commonly considered dark horse team of the list of teams that were pursuing him….the Cleveland Indians.

Personally, I was at the pool trying to evade the oppressive midwestern heat with my children when the trade went down. Looking at the MLBTR RSS feed and seeing the headline made me think that Tim Dierkes and crew had finally lost it in their blitzkrieg of updates. The Indians had held fast the past few seasons to rebuilding the core of their team and building within, a necessity for a midwestern team with a limited payroll.

But obviously the Indians are going all-in. New Indians GM Chris Antonelli assuming seems that his window is now. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Indians have three of their starters (Jimenez, Fausto Carmona, and Justin Masterson) under control through 2013. Hitters Travis Hafner, Shin-Soo Choo, and Asdrubal Cabrera will likely also be under team contract through that season. They will only have Grady Sizemore through 2012, if his option is picked up.

The Indians paid dearly for his services though. Colorado will receive the right-hander Alex White; Joseph Gardner, a Double-A starter; Matt McBride, a Triple-A first baseman; and a player to be named later.

The PTBNL will be prized pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz, who’s currently making Double-A hitters look bad. Due to MLB rules, they cannot officially name him in the trade until after August 15th. Pomeranz is the top prospect in this deal and probably the top prospect included in any deal that took place over the last week before the trade deadline. He is a fly ball pitcher though and may have troubles at Coors at times.

White is a starting rotation candidate with a good sinking fastball, splitter, and a slider as his top three pitches. However his mechanics are bad enough that he’s probably going to be injury-prone (as he is now) and in the long-term they’ll have to move him to the pen to relieve the stress on his arm. If so, he has the stuff to be dominant out of the pen eventually.

AL Central in Focus has a good scouting report on Joe Gardner, comparing him somewhat to Justin Masterson. However, due to his walk rate and his lack of an out-pitch for lefties, I see him as more of a reliever in the long run. It will be interesting how he and White end up.

First baseman/outfielder Matt McBride is enjoying the best offensive season of his career. But it is also his third season at Double-A. There’s a chance that he could be a corner infielder/outfield bench player, but that seems to be his ceiling at this time.

On the surface it looks like a very good haul for a pitcher that many consider a #2 instead of an ace. With Jimenez’s average fastball velocity down, reverting to the troubles he had after the 15-win start he had last season may be likely. But in Cleveland’s defense, they received an upper-tier starter for their main contention window, giving them hope to reach the playoffs this season and the next two after it. They could have negotiated for someone else this winter when there may be more choices available, but there would be more interested parties to contend with as well.

The inclusion of both White and especially Pomeranz in this deal pushes this deal in the favor of the Rockies. Not by much, but gives O’Dowd time to rebuild the roster for another run in a couple years, while Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are still in their prime. I just don’t believe that Jimenez can be dominant throughout his time in Cleveland.

But maybe I’m just a pessimist.

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Trade Bait: Hunter Pence to Philly

The full-fledged rebuilding of the Houston Astros is underway. A trade that just a couple weeks ago many thought was improbable, quickly became reality. Realizing the limited market for difference-maker bats, the Houston Astros started their rebuilding in earnest by trading the current face of the Astros, outfielder Hunter Pence, to the Philadelphia Phillies for four prospects. The Astros will receive Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and a PTBNL.

Pence brings reliable offensive production to the Phillies right field, a sore spot in their lineup since Jayson Werth left for greener pastures in Washington. Although he doesn’t specifically excell in an typically reviewed area of his game, Pence is the whole package across the board…including heart. He is a gamer that gives it his all to win for the team and the fans.

Additionally, Pence is controllable beyond this season and brings some youth to a slowly aging cast of offensive characters.

Cosart was the Phillies top pitching prospect and was probably the main goal of the Astros’ selection. He is listed in the top 50 lists of many of the prospect analysts and thought of by some as a front of the rotation starter. He’s also from the Houston area, hopefully giving the fan base someone new to root for.

Singleton was listed by Minor League Ball as the second best prospect, behind Domonic Brown, in the Phillies system. He has a sweet swing that should push him to the majors. The Phillies have tried him in the outfield, but it will be interesting to see where the Astros put him in their system. A return to first base may be likely, possibly depending on if Brett Wallace works out.

Josh Zied is a pitcher that was recently re-converted to a reliever at Double-A. He has occasionally decent stuff, including a fastball that tops out at 94. But his off-speed pitches are too rough to keep in the rotation. Josh has pitched well out of the pen, where he can rely on this fastball more heavily. His ceiling will be more of a middle-reliever type, unless he takes a drastic step forward with his off-speed stuff, allowing him to move into 8th inning material.

UPDATE (8/22/11): Outfield prospect Domingo Santana is the PTBNL in this deal. He’s a young (19), 6′-5″ 200 lb hitter that projects to have good power. Domingo also has a very high strikeout rate though and could flame out before reaching the majors. However, he has youth on his side and could improve into an impact hitter. It’s a gamble pick, but one with great potential upside for a PTBNL. 

Overall, this a pretty decent haul for the Astros. Cosart and Singleton are good players. I have worries about Cosart’s arm issues, but that can be said about many of the pitching prospects out there. Astros GM Ed Wade probably got the best package available.

I doubt it will save his job though with a new owner coming in and poor results in both the farm system and the major league team.

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Trade Bait: Jackson Traded (again), Wearing Cardinal Red

Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos already had a suitor in line for Edwin Jackson when he traded the Chicago White Sox for him. The pitching-needy Cardinals were already set up by Alex to provide the prize he wanted in return. That prize, outfielder Colby Rasmus, was the entire point of the two trades that he pulled off in quick succession. Though probably not processed as a true three-way trade, the effort that Anthopoulos put in to orchestrate obtaining that key player was extensive.

Rasmus has always had the potential to be a star, it’s been his strife with Tony LaRussa that has been his downfall. Out of LaRussa’s hair, Rasmus could blossom into a 30HR/20SB threat as soon as next season. It’s interesting that the Cardinals were willing to deal Rasmus, who’s under team control through 2014, because of his battles with a manager that could possibly not be with the team next season.

Sent to Toronto as well were pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters. Miller and Tallet are lefties that were signed to one-year contracts (Miller has an option for ’12). Both have struggled this season though and shipping them to Toronto clears payroll space for the Cardinals, who are already at the highest payroll they’ve ever had. Righty P.J. Walters gives the Blue Jays a cheap arm that may be usable out of the pen in time.

On top of flipping Edwin Jackson from the White Sox to the Cardinals, the Jays also sent relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski, as well as outfielder Corey Patterson.

Jackson was enjoying a nice season in Chicago before the trade and should be a good third starter for the Cards. Although his last stint in the NL didn’t fare too well, pitching in St. Louis and under the watchful eye of Dave Duncan should help.

Dotel’s closing experience adds depth to the back of the Cards’ pen. He’ll likely be used mostly in spot situations against right-handed hitters.

Rzepczyski is the only long-term acquisition coming out of this deal for the Cardinals. The lefty is a ground ball machine and has thrived since moving to the pen. He could eventually be moved back to the rotation, but for now, he provides the team with the lefty specialist they need.

Patterson just gives the Cardinals some (some is the operative word) depth in the outfield as John Jay will take over in centerfield full time.

In essence, the Blue Jays gave up Zach Stewart, Marc Rzepczyski, and a probable option year of Jason Frasor for Colby Rasmus. Sure, they are taking on some additional fringy players and monetary commitments, but most of those will be gone after the season.

Alex Anthopoulos has been the GM for the Toronto Blue Jays for less than two years. But at this rate, he will be labeled the King of the Three-Way trade. Although the deal helps the Cardinals run for a post-season berth, the overall winner in this trade will likely be Alex and the Blue Jays.

 

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