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Cardinals, Tony La Russa Bail Out on Colby Rasmus

Technically, this wasn’t a three-team deal, but it involved the Redbirds, White Sox and Blue Jays (techincally yes, they are the Cardinals, but Redbirds makes the trade much more patriotic-esque). The White Sox are winners because they get something for the free agent-to-be Edwin Jackson. The Blue Jays are huge winners by getting Colby Rasmus, a 24-year-old outfielder with speed and power and under team control for three years. Not bad.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, were in position for a Holliday-Rasmus-Jay outfield for the next several years. Now they must either re-sign Lance Berkman — and likely be forced to overpay him — or find another outfielder elsewhere.

Will Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel help St. Louis win the NL Central? Perhaps, and Rzepczynski especially could be helpful in the playoffs. But just how far can St. Louis expect to go against the Braves and Phillies? Jackson and two relievers shouldn’t make you want to mortgage the future.

Supposedly, Tony La Russa had grown tired of managing Rasmus. But over the next two years, the Cardinals will miss Rasmus just as they miss Chris Perez this season. Will the cycle repeat in two years? Will they trade potential ace Shelby Miller for a badly needed outfielder in 2013 to make another run at a division title?