The St. Louis Cardinals outfield just became a little less crowded as they acquired second baseman Jedd Gyorko and cash considerations from the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jon Jay.
#STLCards nearing deal to acquire Jedd Gyorko from #Padres, source says.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 8, 2015
Source: Jon Jay is going to San Diego. https://t.co/9GHVvrxqDV— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) December 8, 2015
Gyorko is coming off of a somewhat resurgent 2015 campaign after an underwhelming sophomore slump in 2014. Over his short career Gyorko has been a below average hitter with 94 wRC+, though Steamer projects him to get back near the league average.
Gyorko will join the Cardinals with some stiff competition for playing time from Kolten Wong. Gyorko has also played third base, but in St. Louis that position is taken by Matt Carpenter. Wong struggled against left-handed pitching last season and that's where Gyorko excels. What could end up happening in St. Louis is an extremely effective platoon.
Gyorko is still owed $32 million over the next four seasons plus a $13 million option in 2020. The Cardinals will reportedly only be on the hook for $26 million of that.
Jay on the other hand is coming off a down year due to some injury troubles. Having always hit above the league average in his five previous seasons, Jay's offense slipped to a 57 wRC+ in 2015. His superb defense still made him a more-than-capable player to put in the lineup though. He will arrive in San Diego as its best defensive option for the outfield and will likely grab center field duties from Melvin Upton Jr.
The big takeaway from this trade is whether the Cardinals are actually making room in their outfield for a bigger acquisition like Jason Heyward. Mozeliak's squad still has Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty lined up for gigs out there, so perhaps that's just speculation.
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