With the Royals headed for another 90-loss season it makes sense for
them to shop 30-year-old Gil Meche, who’s 4-8 despite a solid 4.14 ERA
in 18 starts and is signed through 2011. However, Meche indicated yesterday that he’s unlikely to waive his no-trade clause if the team attempts to deal him:
I don’t want to go anywhere. I know this is the last year of the
no-trade in my contract, but I would like to be here to win. That’s why
I signed to come here in the first place. When that time comes, then
I’ll answer that question. But I’m not going to address speculation. Do
I want to go somewhere? No. That’s about all I can say.
The five-year, $55 million contract that Meche signed in the winter of
2006 is unique in that he has a full no-trade clause this season before
shifting to partial no-trade rights in 2010 and then zero veto ability
in 2011. He’s making $11 million this season and is owed $12 million
for both 2010 and 2011.
Kansas City handing Meche that much money was criticized at the time
because he had ERAs of 4.59, 5.01, 5.09, and 4.48 in his final four
seasons in Seattle and had never thrown even 190 innings in a season,
but midway through the deal he’s produced 530 innings of a 3.88 ERA and
is on pace for his third straight 200-inning campaign.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.