Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. Larry Andersen for Jeff Bagwell. Bartolo Colon for Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips and Cliff Lee. For all the attention focused on the buyers at the trade deadline, sellers often see big results even if it takes a few years for those results to materialize.
Here are a few of the sellers who fared best this year:
Traded Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, Corey Patterson, Marc Rzepczynski and three players to be named later, or cash to St. Louis Cardinals for Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters
Stewart is the lone prospect here, and he projects as either a back-of-the-rotation starter or a bullpen guy. After that, you're giving up a utility man, two relief pitchers and another decent, but low-upside, swingman. Some of these pieces might have value for a contending team, particularly Frasor to the White Sox (3.62 FIP) and Jackson to the Cardinals (3.21 FIP). None matters to the Jays except for Rasmus.
Not yet 25 years old, Rasmus already has a 4-win season under his belt, along with some explosive minor league numbers (including 29 homers in 128 games at Double-A four years ago). He plays a premium position and is three-plus years away from free agency. It's no secret that he and Tony La Russa didn't see eye-to-eye, and Rasmus might be the rare case where the old change-of-scenery argument actually holds water. There's a nonzero chance that Rasmus (and especially his hands-on father) truly is a pain in the butt and that his natural talent will never quite yield the results people hope.
There's also a pretty decent chance Rasmus will become a star. That's a risk a team playing in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox has to take. It's a risk any team should take. And it's a huge coup for a Jays team that's emerging as one of baseball's true sleeping giants with a GM (Alex Anthopoulos) who is distinguishing himself as one of the best dealmakers in the game.