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Today in Blue Jays History: Jays Trade for Grichuk

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Six Years Ago

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

Greene had been a 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 had 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. After that, he went to the Royals, Dodgers, and Orioles and has played in Mexico for the last couple of years.

He had 25.1 innings in the majors, with a 7.11 ERA.

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. Dominic 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 2019. He pitched for Cleveland in 2020 and the Giants for two years. In 2023, he pitched for the Mets, Angels and Mariners with a 4.67 ERA in 51 games.

Grichuk? He was a Blue Jay for four seasons, hitting .243/.289/.461 with 90 home runs. Hot and cold would be a way to describe him. He had his moments but didn’t become the star we envisioned. His bWAR was 4.4 for those four years.

We won the trade, but the Jays also gave Randal a five-year, $52 million contract. He was traded to the Rockies just before the 2022 season, with the team sending $9.7 million along with him, getting Raimel Tapia and prospect Adrian Pinto. Tapia was released. Pinto played 35 games in 2023, splitting time between the Florida Coast League and Dunedin.

I thought Denver might be a good spot for Grichuk, but he didn’t hit any better there, with a .275/.321/.448 batting line and 27 home runs in 204 games over two seasons. In July, he was traded to the Angels. He’s currently a free agent.