The Jays continued to fortify their outfield on Friday when they acquired Randal Grichuk from the St. Louis Cardinals.
First, this offseason, the Jays added Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte to improve the infield, before starting on the outfield with Curtis Granderson, and now, Randal Grichuk, who they added from the St. Louis Cardinals as well.
Greene, recently has been in and around just outside the top 10 prospects for Toronto, going as high as 11, by MLB.com. Greene last year, in AA New Hampshire pitched to a 5.29 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 83 walks.
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While Greene had struggles, he had great upside, leading many fans to think he would be a part of the rotation in the future. But with so many young pitchers already in the majors, and more still ahead of him in the minors, he was expendable to get a piece the Jays badly needed.
Leone, last year was one of the best bullpen pitchers for the Jays. If you count WAR from last year, Leone is even the best player in this trade, with a 2.2 mark against Grichuk’s 1.0. Leone also had a great 2.56 ERA in 70.1 innings with 81 strikeouts against 23 walks. With the Jays bullpen one of their strengths from last season, the Jays were able to sacrifice a good pitcher to get what they needed elsewhere.
Grichuk brings value to the Jays as an outfielder who can play anywhere, with experience last year in all three outfield positions. Last season was his worst full season in the league, as he hit .238 with 22 home runs and 58 RBIs.
The Jays will hope that Grichuk’s 2018 campaign resembles his 2015season when he hit .276 with 17 home runs and 47 RBIs, in 103 games.
Grichuks main value comes from his youth and contract. He will be 26 this season, and is under contract until 2021. This will give the Jays time to be able to shape Grichuk to suit their game, as well as help mentor the younger outfielders on the Jays.
This move will surely bring talks of a possible Kevin Pillar trade, as the Jays now have someone major league level that can take over from him. But this also creates valuable depth for the Jays, as they can now role out a veteran outfield of Grichuk/Pillar/Granderson and Pearce, with Ezequiel Carerra as the extra.
If the pattern holds, hopefully this means the end of the outfield search and beginning of working on the pitching staff.