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Today in Blue Jays History: Jays Trade for Grichuk

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Blue Jays traded pitchers Conner Greene and Dominic Leone to the Cardinals for Randal Grichuk.

Greene had been a pretty good prospect. He was #100 on Baseball Prospectus’ Top 100 Prospect List in 2016. In 2017 Conner played in New Hampshire and had a 5.29 ERA in 132.2 innings. He was having trouble finding the strike zone; he walked 86 batters (with 92 strikeouts). Conner didn’t have a great time with the Cardinals and was DFAed after the season. The Royals picked him up off waivers and pitched in their system in 2019. He signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles back in December.

Leone was a waiver pickup for the Jays from the Diamondbacks before the 2017 season. He did an excellent job in our bullpen, putting up a 2.56 ERA in 65 relief appearances, 23 walks, and 81 strikeouts in 70 innings. He wasn’t as good with the Cardinals. He had a 5.15 ERA in 64.2 innings in two seasons, with 30 walks and 72 strikeouts. They released him in November of 2019. He pitched for Cleveland in 2020.

Grichuk, in his three seasons with the Jays, has hit .244/.293/.477 with 68 home runs. Playing in right field, he’s been a good defensive outfield. In center field, where he played in 2020, he’s been somewhat below average. In the three seasons, he has a 3.1 bWAR.

We won the trade, but the Jays also gave Randal a contract extension, which has three years left, and he’ll make $31 million over those three years. He’s going to have to put up decent numbers to give us value for that contract. If we can find a center fielder and have Randal play one of the corner spots, I think he would provide us with better value. But then we have two corner outfielders with more potential.