This is still developing as we speak, but from all reports, it sounds like the Blue Jays are close to trading for Edwin Jackson and then flipping him to the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus. The whole thing looks a little something like this:
And then: Edwin Jackon + (something) ------> Colby Rasmus
Although for all we know, the Cardinals could still want more back for Rasmus; that part of the deal isn't finalized yet. But regardless, it appears as though the Blue Jays have just acquired Rasmus for one reliever and one pitching prospect not ranked in Baseball America's preseason Top 100 list. Sure, they have to take on a bit of payroll in Teahen, but they just snagged a 3 Win centerfielder for peanuts. What a steal.
Under GM Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays have quickly become a foil for the Rays. They stole countless relievers this offseason that the Rays were interested in, and they've made a collection of very smart trades recently. While the Jays are having a disappointing season this year, toiling away at in fourth place (51-52 record), they've put together a competitive team that could challenge for a playoff spot any year now.
So I'm torn. On one hand, this is just what the Rays don't want -- another competitive, well run franchise in the AL East. But on the other hand, this is really fun. I love watching other teams make smart moves, and a part of me is looking forward to Andrew Friedman having a low-budget nemesis to battle against in the AL East. This could make for a really brainy rivalry for years to come.
One last note: for all those out there wondering if the Rays could have gotten Rasmus for this price, stop worrying about it. Apparently the Rays offered he Cardinals Cobb, Niemann, or Davis for Rasmus, but the Cardinals chose to go with Jackson instead. And I can't blame them -- Jackson is currently the best pitcher of all these three (3.0 WAR, 3.21 FIP) and since the Cardinals have a larger payroll, they can afford to pay his salary. Maybe the Rays could have tried doing some three-way deal like the Jays, but my guess is the Cardinals would have instead insisted on one of the Rays' better pitching prospects being included instead.
So it goes. Congrats to Anthopoulos for pulling off a sweet trade; now here's hoping Friedman can one-up him.