So this is the first edition of
HardballTalk Extra, which is the name we’re giving this little video adventure. Today Tiffany Simons — who is a total pro and knows what she’s doing — and I — a complete amateur who literally filmed his half of this from his freakin’ basement — talk about Oliver Perez, Bryce Harper and Pete
Vuckovich. Pete Vuckovich? Yeah, Pete Vuckovich. Because like, why not?
But before you press play, allow me to note that we were gonna do another take of this to smooth out my (multiple) rough edges, but then the power went out at my house preventing us from doing so. I’m approximately 100% sure that Tiffany, Matt, Brian and the other people putting this together back at the studio did a monster facepalm when that happened and are now at a happy hour somewhere telling their friends that, really, they don’t have electricity west of the Hudson River.
And did I mention that I’m new at this and that I was in my basement? OK, now I’m just pathetically grovelling, but please be merciful and take my word for it when I tell you’ll that I’ll get better. Enjoy the show:
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.