The Toronto Blue Jays have added a power threat to the corner of their outfield, acquiring Randal Grichuk from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a pair of right-handers, Dominic Leone and Conner Greene. The deal was confirmed by the Blue Jays official twitter account Friday afternoon.
We've acquired OF Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for RHP Dominic Leone and RHP Conner Greene.
Last season, Grichuk hit 22 home runs with 59 RBI and 25 doubles in 122 games. pic.twitter.com/624iYWvEx2
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 19, 2018
Randal Grichuk Traded to Blue Jays
The Blue Jays will feature a new-look outfield group in 2018, aside from the familiar face of AL Gold Glove finalist Kevin Pillar holding down the everyday spot in center. The two corner outfield spots are likely to be determined in Spring Training as the likes of Grichuk, Steve Pearce, Teoscar Hernandez, Ezequiel Carrera, Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey, and Dwight Smith Jr. compete for playing time in left and right field. With the departure of Jose Bautista, the Jays will have a new opening day right fielder for the first time since 2008.
Grichuk is coming off of back-to-back solid seasons, hitting a total of 46 homers to go along with 127 RBI and a .239 batting average over that two-year span in St. Louis. But with the Cardinals’ acquisition of Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins earlier this winter — plus Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham already in the mix and higher on Mike Matheny‘s pecking order — there didn’t appear to be much of an opportunity for Grichuk in 2018. The 26-year-old Rosenberg, Texas native will now have a clean slate with which to prove himself in Toronto.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, will add an established middle-relief option to their bullpen in Leone, who posted an impressive 2.56 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 70.1 innings of work last season for the Jays. Despite appearing to find his form at the big league level in 2017, the Cardinals will be Leone’s fourth Major League team in the last three seasons.
Also heading to St. Louis in the swap is Greene, who was selected by the Blue Jays out of high school in the seventh round of the 2013 June Amateur Draft. The Jays number 11 overall prospect, Greene possesses an electric fastball that can frequently touch triple digits on the radar gun, but struggled last season at the Double-A level with Toronto’s Eastern League affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Greene amassed a 5-10 record, 5.83 ERA, and 1.69 WHIP in 132.2 innings (25 starts) for the Fisher Cats, but at just 22 years of age still has strong potential to develop in the Cardinals organization.
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