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“I don’t think there was anything sinister or anything behind the scenes that prompted this,” Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said. “I know there’s a history, but I felt like this was a pure move to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a chance to win now.’”

The 24-year-old Rasmus is eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season. Mozeliak said several teams had been interested and Jon Jay has developed as an everyday talent, so Rasmus was expendable.

“I think he’ll always be remembered as someone with a lot of talent, but at the end of the day we had to trade him,” Mozeliak said.

Rasmus had a solid season in 2010, hitting .276 with 23 homers, 66 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 464 at-bats. He had a .361 on-base percentage but struck out 148 times.

Drafted by St. Louis in the first round in 2005, Rasmus is a .228 career hitter against left-handing pitching. But the Blue Jays hope to tap his potential, and Anthopoulos said he had been “after Colby for a while.”

“I think it was well-documented that that relationship was probably not meant to be or not long-term, and it’s probably best for both parties that Colby gets a fresh start,” Anthopoulos said. “I think he’s going to fit in great and he’s going to thrive.”

The Cardinals led the NL Central heading into Wednesday’s games, but Milwaukee was only a half-game back and Pittsburgh was one game behind in third.

La Russa said Kyle McClellan, 7-6 with a 4.15 ERA in his first year in the rotation, would return to the bullpen as a setup man.

“I felt like the time I was in the rotation I did a good job,” McClellan said. “I’ve done the bullpen and I’m OK with it.”

Chicago acquired the 27-year-old Jackson from the Diamondbacks on July 30 last season. The right-hander is 7-7 this season with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts for Chicago, which had been carrying six starters on the roster.

“At the end of the day, I’ve come to understand the game of baseball,” said Jackson, eligible for free agency after this season. “This is not my first time being traded. Any time I’ve been traded, there’s never been any hard feelings.”

The White Sox were in third place in the AL Central, 4 1/2 games back. With the trade deadline looming Sunday, manager Kenny Williams said this week that he was undecided whether to cut payroll or add veterans for the stretch run. He said dealing Jackson helps on both counts.

“We needed to make a little bit of a dent in our payroll, which is stressed a little bit,” Williams said. “But we did not want to be making a move that would be counterproductive to the opportunity for us to win still.”

Teahen was signed as a free agent before last season to be Chicago’s starting third baseman. The 29-year-old was derailed by injuries and ended up as a bench player for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Teahen hit .203 in 51 games this season with three homers and 11 RBIs.

“Mixed emotions for sure,” Teahen said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed in the way it all worked out here. I wanted it to go a lot different.”

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