Blue Jays: Which “dead contract” has gotta go?
Grichuk’s case is a lot different than Morales or Tulowitzki, mostly because of the cost of his contract and his relatively young age. He currently sits on the disabled list, but was hitting just .106/.208/.227 with just two home runs and seven RBI in 66 at bats before his injury. It’ll be a few weeks before he’ll be healthy enough to return, and then the Blue Jays will have to find a way to fit him back on to the roster.
Or maybe they won’t?
Grichuk came over from the Cardinals this offseason in exchange for Dominic Leone and Conner Greene, and I honestly believed that he could be a steal. I still think he’ll be a lot better than anything we’ve seen from him in a Blue Jays uniform so far, but there’s no denying he’s been a disappointment.
The problem for the former Cardinal is the depth chart in Toronto, one that he’s fallen down quite a bit since the season started. With Kevin Pillar having a career year so far, Curtis Granderson thriving in a platoon in left field with Steve Pearce, and Teoscar Hernandez mashing his way into the lineup, it’s hard to see where Grichuk’s playing time comes from. Injuries could change a lot of course, but if the rest of the group is healthy when Grichuk is ready to return, a decision could have to be made, and it could involve the former Cardinal.
Making just 2.8 million this season according to Spotrac.com, it should be a lot easier to find a trade partner for Grichuk than it would be for Morales or Tulowitzki. The former first round pick is just 26 years old as well, so convincing another team that they should take a chance on him seems like a reasonable task for the front office.
Because of that, I don’t think he would survive being sent to Triple-A, as he would have to pass through waivers. The claiming team wouldn’t have to guarantee his contract beyond this season, and with just over two million remaining on the deal, he’s a gamble that would be worthwhile for an outfield-needy team somewhere in the MLB.
We’ll see how this one plays out, but I would expect the front office to explore a move involving Morales before giving up on Grichuk this early. However, money definitely factors into the decision as well, and Grichuk’s cost wouldn’t hurt that bad financially. It wouldn’t so much be “eating” Grichuk’s contract, as it would be risking that someone else would swoop in and steal him for nothing, which at two million could be just as bad.