Last week the Dodgers sent Eric Gagne to the minors. Last night they said, eh, forget it, and just released him. He allowed six runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings. Late innings in spring training games, so it’s not like he’d be facing a less-talented brand of competition in the minors.
I would assume that Gagne’s career is over. The Rockies had offered him deal similar to that which the Dodgers offered, but I’m fairly certain the demote-then-release dynamic would have played out the same way there too. He’s on record this spring saying that the independent leagues were no fun — and he wasn’t that good in the Can-Am league to begin with, going 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings as a
starter — so I doubt he’s heading back there. Dude just can’t pitch anymore.
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.