There's so much to say about today's deal, one can hardly write coherently about it without breaking it into chapters. You have already heard most all the major details, the only thing you can find here is opinion you haven't seen elsewhere or maybe one you overlooked that I'm repeating. Rather than write a novel (as is my wont) I'm going to simply bullet this thing addressing each player involved in turn. Departing players in red, arriving players in blue.
Chapter One: The White Sox Deal
Edwin Jackson: I shouldn't spend too much time on Jackson because obviously he's not going to suit up for the Jays. He's an enigmatic guy in that what he's done the last few years, combined with his reputation as a prospect should make him stick longer with teams than he does. It is to our benefit that he has such appeal to the Cardinals though, because Alex has said a few times today that the previous impediment to getting Rasmus was that he refused to deal any of his (good) starters.
Mark Teahen: Clearly, the only reason we got Teahan is to give the White Sox salary relief. Still, he's a versitle guy who can do what Patterson was doing plus play in the infield as necessary. Ignore the twice (at least) too much salary, the Jays can afford it and it won't get in the way of any other move. Roster wise, think of the guy as a somewhat younger Eric Hinske. He's having a down year but most years he's a mildly below average guy who can be useful off the bench.
Zach Stewart: Stewart was among the Jays top 10 prospects on every prominent list last off-season - Kieth Law had him as high as #3, as did I. Some were cooler on him after he was "just okay" in repeating AA this year rather than be run through the Vegas wringer. I suspect that was an over-reaction and it seems unlikely a 24 year old has gone backwards for no obvious reason. Still, scouts had always waiver on whether he was a #3 starter or a potential closer - he was never called a potential Ace. the White Sox will, at a minimum, give him some time in AAA and he might very well break camp in the bigs next spring.
Jason Frasor: Long under-appreciated but has of late matured into the role of the guy whom most everyone quietly recognizes as a mainstay. If we were in a race he'd be a bigger loss than his stats (which are quite good) would indicate, in my opinion. I think he's the rock of the bullpen. but you can't let sentiment get in the way of something major. I'm going to be the first to say this - if the White Sox don't pick up his option for 2012 (and if he doesn't slip into a Type A status) don't be stunned if Alex brings him back as a free agent. Anthopoulos was effusive in his praise for Frasor today and I think it was sincere.
Chapter Two: The St. Louis Deal
Colby Rasmus: Has been one of the guys Alex has been "watching since last year" (kinda interesting how he seems to end up with those guys who stay constantly on his radar like that) and his dogged determination paid off. you can read some of the background on that pursuit in John Lott's nice piece on the trade. there's no point in re-cycling the massive praise Rasmus' talent has gotten over the last few years, or the history of conflict with former manager Tony LaRussa. in short, yes, there's always risk and more so when you are getting someone said to have "an attitude" - but before you worry too much, consider: Brett Lawrie, Yunel Escobar, Kyle Drabek, and yes, even Jose Bautista were said to have make-up issues beofre they came to Toronto. so far, other than Drabek's temper on the mound, we haven't seen any downside to that.
Brian Tallet: On the DL with a strained intercostal muscle (from a sneeze, no less!) and hasn't pitched since June 23, he wasn't pitching well in very limited opportunities before going on the list. But during treatment for the injury he was found to have a serious but treatable kidney disease which requires a treatment protocol which inhibits his rehabbing the injury. It's unclear when he'll be able to resume pitching. You already know the best case for what we'd get if/when he recovers.
Trever Miller: how many of you remember that Miller has been here before? In 2003 he appeared in 79 games for the Jays doing the sort of average work that has been the hallmark of his career. The non-discript lefty is 38 now and his always ordinary control is slipping away from him. Likely taking him on was a combination of a Jays pen being emptied out and taking on a bit of excess salary from the Cards. If he does anything other than eat some filler innings it would be too much.
P.J. Walters: at best, a long reliever in the majors. Think Bobby Ray or Scott Richmond. He's filler.
Octavio Dotel: Once John Farrell gave up the idea that Dotel would ever get a lefty out, he's been aces. Since May 14 his ERA has been 1.86. while the Cards paid way too much, if they use their bullpen acquisitions properly, they gained considerable value there.
Marc Rzepczyinski: is this the last time I'll have to remember how to spell that? all of us, including Anthopoulos, have expressed how much we hate to see him go - but in a telling complement to the young left, Alex said that if he held out on Zep the deal wouldn't have gotten done, and that would have been a big mistake. if Zep never does anything more than mature into a rock in the role he has now, he's got a lot of value - if the Cards convert him back to the rotation and he excels there, it will certainly soften the blow for Cardinals fans. don't rule that possibility out.
Corey Patterson: is it completely irrational that I'm almost as happy to see Patterson go as to see Rasmus arrive? Yes, it is, but I'm gonna go with it anyway. Thank God and Grayhound he's gone (yes I know he'll fly out but it's kinda cool to imagine him taking a bus).
Tangent to the deal, the Jays owe the Cards 3 players to be named or cash. it's possible that how things go with Pujols in the off-season might drive who the Cards select from the list they have in hand. Perhaps Cooper or McDade (or both) are on the list but the Cards would only want to pick them if albert stays. Time will tell. I think we can safely assume the player is no a Top 10 prospect type of guy since you presumably wouldn't want to let such a valuable chip play in someone else's organization for two more months. I could be wrong about that though. My guess is whoever it is (if it's not just cash) - the Jays can afford it.
Also somewhat related, the Jays recalled Brad Mills who'll probably won't be in Toronto long but covers them a bit while they are short handed. Either he or Walters will be optioned out to Vegas as soon as tomorrow probably.
In the final calculation, when you strip away the fungible guys, and the finances (which were key - Gerry pointed out on Batter's Box that if the Jays don't have case in reserve they can't do this deal) we traded a top 10 prospect (Stewart) and a very good LH reliever (Zep) for a potential All Star center fielder. That my friends is a good days work.
In conclusion I can only say that for a committed roterbator such as myself, these are heady times.