The St. Louis Cardinals continued their trade-heavy offseason on Friday, trading outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Toronto Blue Jays for reliever Dominic Leone and Minor League starter Conner Greene.
Grichuk is dealt from a once crowded outfield in St. Louis that is appearing to have less depth every single day. Once home to Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler, Magneuris Sierra, Tommy Pham, and Jose Martinez, now only Fowler, Pham, and Martinez remain. The trade for Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins helps contribute to the depth on the team, but the outfield is not what it once was.
The Blue Jays are getting a guy that slashed his way to a .238/.285/.473/.758 line in 412 at-bats with the Redbirds. That was good for a 94 wRC+ which was the worst of his career since his rookie season. He has shown power potential during his time in St. Louis, putting up 22 home runs in 2017 in response to his 24 bombs in 2016. He will need to prove that his power numbers are here to stay, especially with a strikeout percentage hovering around 30% for the majority of his career.
In return, the Cardinals are getting much needed bullpen help. The 26 year old Dominic Leone had a breakout year in 2017 after struggling with the Diamondbacks in the year prior. In 2017, Leone threw 70.1 innings and accumulated a 2.56 ERA and a 2.94 FIP to go along with his impressive 1.05 WHIP. Opposing hitters batted just .199 off the right hander and he struck out hitters 29% of the time, the highest number of his career.
The Cardinals will also receive Conner Greene, a starting pitcher that spent the entire 2017 season in Double-A. Previously ranked as the 11th best prospect in the Toronto system, Greene struggled mightily on the mound last season. With 5.29/4.49/1.69 ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line, he will look to turn things around with a new organization. The kid is still only 22 years old and will have time to grow in the Cardinals system.