The St. Louis Cardinals find themselves with too many outfielders, so a trade of one of them is very likely this offseason. The hottest name on the trading block is Randal Grichuk, who has the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles tracking him.
The Cardinals nearly traded Tommy Pham to the Los Angeles Dodgers just before the end of the summer, and also have Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler and Jose Martinez locked up in the outfield. There are also younger options who are waiting for some room to open up, such as Harrison Bader, Magneuris Sierra, Randy Arozarena and Tyler O’Neill. However, Grichuk is the hottest name.
And it’s easy to see both sides of the story: Why the Cardinals are putting him on the block, while also why teams keep looking into the 26 year-old, who can play all three positions in the outfield.
Grichuk can be controlled through the 2020 season. He’ll be hitting his first arbitration season in 2018, and is projected to make around $2.8 million. Right now, the Cardinals aren’t looking to sign him on a long term deal. He has dropped in batting average over the last three seasons, hitting .238, the lowest of his career. He did hit 22 home runs, hitting at a slightly higher rate than last season, when he clobbered 24 out of the park.
Grichuk is an OK defensive player, with streaks of inconsistency that contrast some impressive plays. He’s not an elite left fielder or anything of the sort, but he provides solid power and solid defense most of the time, and along with his age and contract makes him a pretty good target to follow when you have needs in the outfield.
All three teams mentioned in the pursuit of Grichuk finished last in their divisions last season. The Cardinals had one of their weakest seasons in recent memory (83-79), but feel like they can afford to offload some veteran talent to clear up room for better players.