OK, so this probably isn’t big enough news to add any fuel to the rivalry, but infielder Kevin Frandsen is signing with the Nationals after declining an assignment to the minors from the Phillies yesterday.
Frandsen forfeited a $900,000 salary by turning down the Phillies’ attempt to move him to Triple-A after taking him off the 40-man roster earlier this week. Presumably he’s been all but assured of cracking the Nationals’ Opening Day roster after Washington released utility infielder candidate Jamey Carroll yesterday.
Frandsen is 32 years old and hit .280 with seven homers and a .723 OPS in two seasons for the Phillies, but he’s not an ideal utility infielder because he’s logged just 198 career innings at shortstop in the majors and hasn’t played an inning at the position in the big leagues since 2009.
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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.