Grichuk Traded to the Bluejays

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Well it looks like Randall Grichuk was finally moved in a deal with the Bluejays. The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone (pronounced lee-OHN) and Conner Greene from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Randal Grichuk.
Leone, 26, enjoyed a solid 2017 campaign for Toronto, going 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA (12th among American League relievers) and 11 Holds in 65 games pitched, striking out 81 batters in 70.1 innings of work.   His 70.1 innings (9th among A.L. relievers) and 81 strikeouts were both 2nd highest among Toronto relievers last season.   Leone stranded 42 of 54 inherited runners (78 pct.), ranking 4th among American League relievers (min. 50 inherited runners) and he limited left-handed batters to a .183 average and righties to a .211 mark.
The 5-11, 195-pound Leone owns a career mark of 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 160 outings (all in relief) with Seattle (2014-15), Arizona (2015-16) and Toronto (2017).  A Connecticut native, Leone was drafted by Seattle in 2012 (16th round) out of Clemson University and made his Major League debut with the M’s in 2014 when he put together a solid rookie season, going 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 57 games (66.1 IP) with 70 strikeouts.   He led all Major League rookie relievers with his eight wins in 2014, finished 2nd to Dellin Betances (NY Yankees, 135) among Junior Circuit rookie relievers in strikeouts, was 3rd in rookie reliever ERA (2.17) and finished as one of just 19 American League relievers to fan 70 or more batters that season.
Greene, 22, went 5-10 with a 5.29 ERA for New Hampshire (AA) in 26 games (25 starts) and fanned 92 batters in 132.2 inning pitched, earning selection to the Eastern League All-Star team.   It was his 2nd-straight All-Star season, having also earned mid-season honors in the Florida State League (A) in 2016 when he was 4-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 15 starts for Dunedin.
A 7th round draft selection by the Blue Jays out of Santa Monica (Calif.) High School in 2013, Greene was ranked as the 5th best prospect in the Toronto organization by Baseball America in 2017.  The 6-3, 185-pound Greene is 31-31 with a 4.04 ERA in 103 career games (91 starts) since making his professional debut in 2013.
Grichuk, 26, played four seasons (2014-17) with the Cardinals after coming over in a November 2013 trade from the Los Angeles Angels that sent David Freese and Fernando Salas to the Halos.  Grichuk owns a career batting mark of .249 with 66 HR’s and 182 RBI in 404 games and he hit .238 last season with 22 HR’s and 59 RBI in 122 games.
Both Leone and Greene will be added to the Cardinals Major League roster, which is currently at the maximum 40 players.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

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Twins Hire Jim Kaat as Special Assistant

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Nearly a quarter century after being lost on waivers to the Chicago White Sox in August 1973, Jim Kaat is returning to the Twins as a special assistant.
Set to turn 80 later this year, the left-hander with 283 career victories in the major leagues remains active as a TV analyst for the MLB and YES networks. A 16-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, Kaat is the namesake of the Twins’ Defensive Player of the Year, an award instituted in 2012.
Kaat was expected to be at TwinsFest this weekend.
“The Twins organization is thrilled to have Jim Kaat back on board,” Twins president and CEO Dave St. Peter said. “Jim’s history with this franchise as well as our game is rich and legendary.”
Kaat, who makes his home in Stuart, Fla., joins National Baseball Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris in his new role. Other Twins special assistants include Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Tom Kelly. They assist the organization in various community and business initiatives, both in Minnesota as well as southwest Florida, where the team holds spring training.
On Wednesday the Twins formally announced the addition of former AL MVP Justin Morneau as the fourth special assistant to baseball operations. He joined former Twins teammates Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins in that capacity.
Kaat also has more than 4,000 followers on his Twitter account (@KaatJim), where he describes himself as a “Baseball lifer. Golf enthusiast” and frequently expounds on the direction of modern pitching and baseball in general.
Kaat broke in with the Washington Senators in 1959 and went 190-159 with a 3.34 earned run average in more than 3,000 innings and 15 seasons with the Twins and Senators. He went 25-13 in 1966, leading the American League with 304 2/3 innings while completing 19 of 41 starts.
He finished fifth in AL MVP voting that year, one spot ahead of Oliva, but never finished higher than fourth (1975) in the Cy Young race. Kaat, who made three starts for the Twins in the 1965 World Series and four relief appearances against Paul Molitor’s Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 World Series, retired at age 44 after spending the 1983 season with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Source: Mike Berardino

Randall Grichuk and Other News

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According to Frederickson outfielder Randal Grichuk is “not thrilled” about the notion of being a reserve option in 2018, though that’ll be the case barring an injury to one of Marcell Ozuna, Tommy Pham or Dexter Fowler. Grichuk didn’t complain about his role so much as voice a desire to prove that he can still be a significant asset and factor prominently into the Cardinals’ success. “I hope they feel confident in themselves, and you don’t want anyone doubting themselves, but hopefully they know I’m there,” said the outfielder. “And if I get an opportunity, I’m going to try to make the best of it and not look back.” Frederickson’s column features quotes from roughly a half-dozen Cardinals players as well as manager Mike Matheny and DeWitt.

In other Cardinal news……Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. wouldn’t comment on the chances of his team signing Greg Holland, writes Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but DeWitt generally expressed some trepidation about the notion of spending heavily (in either dollars or prospects) to acquire a “proven” closer. “[C]losers are not guarantees,” DeWitt said. “…It’s a hard job. You go over the history of closers, and it’s not particularly guaranteed that you’re going to get longevity, which you think you’ll get out of a starting pitcher.” DeWitt did acknowledge that he’d “rather give up dollars than players” in a general sense, but DeWitt’s full comments certainly don’t convey the sense that adding a high-profile arm for the ninth-inning is a top priority.

Source: MLBTradeRumors

Yadi Announces Retirement after Contract

Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

Last April, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina signed a three-year, $60 million contract extension. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Molina plans to hang up his spikes when that contract ends after the 2020 season. “Three more years, that’s it,” Molina said.
Molina, 35, set a career-high in RBI last season with 82 and also stole nine bases, but otherwise had a mediocre season by his standards. He hit .273/.312/.439 with 18 home runs in 543 plate appearances.
Molina has been with the Cardinals for the duration of his 14-year major league career after the Cardinals selected him in the fourth round of the 2000 draft. He transformed himself from a light-hitting backstop into an offensive threat, helping the Cardinals reach the playoffs nine times and win the World Series twice in 2006 and 2011.

 

Cardinals Still Looking

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Cardinals president John Mozeliak informed the Associated Press and other media this weekend that they’re continuing to “explore” ways to improve, though he’s confident in their current roster. Mozeliak is “hesitant” to surrender prospects for players who are low on team control, the AP writes.

So I wonder does this mean that the team of Girsch and Mozeliak are leaning towards maybe the likes of Mike Moustakas and Jake Arrieta. I know these two would be key acquisitions to improve the our beloved Cardinals.

The Cards did make that type of trade last month, though, acquiring outfielder Marcell Ozuna’s two years of control from Miami in exchange for four prospects. Ozuna discussed his reaction to the deal this weekend, telling Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com and other reporters: “The first thing I heard [was] they were going to trade me to the Oakland A’s. I said, ’God, please, leave me over here.’ Then I heard they traded me to the Cardinals, and I said, ’OK, thanks.’”

Source: Connor Byrne

Grichuk Signs a One Year Deal

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder Randal Grichuk became the first of the Cardinals’ four arbitration-eligible players to reach an agreement with the club, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported on Thursday that the two sides settled on a one-year, $2.6 million contract for 2018. The club has not confirmed the report.
The deal comes one day before clubs and any remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players will exchange desired salary figures. In 2017, the Cardinals transitioned to a trial-and-file philosophy, meaning that once they swap salary figures with a player, they proceed with the intention of taking that case all the way to a February arbitration hearing.

Grichuk, who made $557,200 in 2017, entered the offseason eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career. While he’s no longer earmarked for a starting job, he does sit as the fourth outfielder on the Cardinals’ depth chart and should see semi-regular playing time given his ability to play all three outfield spots.
In 442 plate appearances last season, Grichuk slashed .238/.285/.473 for a .758 OPS. That latter figure has decreased each of the past three seasons while Grichuk has struggled to turn potential into consistent production.

Source: MLB

2018 Spring Training Tickets for Sale

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Individual tickets for 2018 Cardinals Spring Training games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, will go on sale this Saturday, January 13, beginning at 9:00 a.m. CT (excluding tickets for the March 2 game vs. Boston, which will go on sale Saturday, January 27).
Roger Dean Stadium offers Reserved Box, Bleacher and Bullpen Club seating. The Bullpen Club is Roger Dean’s newest addition featuring all-inclusive tickets with drink rail and four-top table seating.
The team’s 30-game Grapefruit League slate is set to begin on Friday, February 23 and will conclude on Sunday, March 25.  The Cardinals Spring Training schedule features 14 home dates and 16 road games, including four games as the “visiting” team against the Marlins, giving them 18 total games at Roger Dean Stadium.
To purchase Spring Training single game tickets, or for more information about the schedule or Roger Dean Stadium, visit cardinals.com/springtraining or call 561-775-1818.
Fans interested in Cardinals Spring Training vacation packages, which include great game tickets, choice of hotel accommodations, rental car with unlimited mileage, an exclusive reception and dinner featuring a season preview with select Cardinals players and personnel, early game entry to watch batting practice and custom Cardinals Spring Training jersey, can visit cardinals.com/vacations or call 1-800-892-7687.  #CardsSpringTraining

Source St. Louis Cardinals