In theory, the trade for Colby Rasmus in July 2011 was a positive one, at least from a talent perspective. The Cardinals had previously drafted him 28th overall in 2005, and at one point he was the third-rated prospect in all of baseball.
However, the addition came with a warning that Rasmus did not fit in well with his coaches and teammates during his time in St. Louis, This arguably explained why the Blue Jays did not have to part with anyone of particular value in their return package.
Pending how accurate the speculation was, a change of scenery can sometimes help a player. In this respect, the Blue Jays did sign the outfielder to a one-year, $2.7 US million deal ahead of the 2012 season, seeming to suggest he had acclimatized well to the clubhouse.
It helped that Rasmus' father, who had been a constant thorn in the Cardinals' side, was less hands-on in Toronto. He was also performing well enough on the field, highlighted by 23 home runs and a career-high 75 RBI during 2012.
The result was signing another one-year deal ahead of the 2013 season, this time for $4.675 million. At one point during the campaign, the Columbus, Georgia native was graded as the league's second-best overall center fielder behind a certain Mike Trout.
Everything seemed to be going well for Rasmus, who after the season was named the Blue Jays' Wilson 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. He once more signed another one-year deal, for $7 million.
However, 2014 would be Rasmus' final year in Toronto, with him seeing less playing time as the season progressed. Neither side had any interest in negotiating another deal.
It was only after the now 37-year-old left, that word got out about his attitude and commitment around the team. He was one of a number players who left, as the Blue Jays looked to change the culture in the clubhouse.
In respect of Rasmus specifically, Adam Lind hinted at what his departure meant for the Blue Jays. As per yahoo! sports' Mark Townsend, he said: "There might be a few more smiles with Colby gone.”