The primary reason for that move was a fractured relationship between the third baseman and manager Tony La Russa. New GM Mozeliak tried to make the best of a bad situation, executing a challenge trade with Toronto for third baseman Troy Glaus.
While La Russa’s Hall of Fame credentials are unquestioned, one of his rough areas was in his contentious relationships with certain players over the years.
The subject came to mind again the other day as I saw a Cardinals blogger suggesting the 2011 Colby Rasmus trade – also to Toronto, by the way – should be re-evaluated in light of Jon Jay’s current struggles in center field for the Cardinals.
The logic behind my negative response is very simple – flags fly forever. The 2011 World Championship run was significantly aided by the players added in the Rasmus deal. They included starter Edwin Jackson and relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski.
While none of them are Cardinals today, that isn’t the end of the story. In addition to The Commissioner’s Trophy, the organization still has three prospects in the system as a direct result of those three pitchers leaving St. Louis. The three are third baseman Patrick Wisdom, catcher Steve Bean and shortstop Juan Herrera.
The first two were taken in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft as compensatory picks from the departures of Dotel and Jackson, respectively, as free agents. Last summer, Herrera joined the Cardinals organization in a trade with Cleveland for Scrabble.
Wisdom is the system’s best third base prospect and is starting to heat up with the bat after a quiet first month at Double-A. Still just 20 years of age, Bean is sharing catching duties with high-visibility prospect Carson Kelly at Class-A Peoria. Herrera, a sharp glove man, is Bean’s teammate with the Chiefs and is currently leading the Cardinals system in stolen bases.
In The Cardinal Nation’s just-released top 40 prospect list update covering April (subscriber article), Wisdom (16) and Herrera (26) both placed.
Only time will tell how the three continue to perform, and if one or more even reach the majors, but they all have a chance. In my book, that is just frosting on the cake of a winning trade for the Cardinals.