Orioles likely to let Koji Uehara walk despite relief success

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Koji Uehara has struggled to stay off the disabled list in two years with the Orioles, but the 35-year-old right-hander thrived after moving to the bullpen full time this season with a 2.86 ERA and 55/5 K/BB ratio in 44 innings.

He converted 13-of-15 save opportunities, held opponents to a .220 batting average, finished the season with 32 straight walk-less appearances, and had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the entire league among pitchers with 40-plus innings, ahead of even Cliff Lee.

However, according to Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com “the Orioles haven’t made much of an attempt to re-sign him.” Because of his age and injury history Uehara is definitely a risk, but if the Orioles let him walk my guess is several contenders would line up for the chance to give him an incentive-laden one-year contract as a setup man.

Blue Jays acquire Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals

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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.