Back in June the Padres demoted Jedd Gyorko to Triple-A a year and change into a six-year, $35 million contract extension and now they’ve traded the 26-year-old infielder to the Cardinals in exchange for 30-year-old outfielder Jon Jay. According to Corey Brock of MLB.com the Cardinals will also receive about $7 million in cash.
Gyorko has hit just .229 with a .654 OPS in 239 games since signing the deal, but he does have 20-homer power and the Cardinals must feel that his offensive potential has been stifled by calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home. He figures to fill a utility infielder role initially, but could work his way into more playing time given that he has $32 million remaining on the contract through 2019.
Jay has been the Cardinals’ primary center fielder since 2010, but fell out of favor this past season by hitting .210 and missing time with injuries. He’s a career .287 hitter with a .354 on-base percentage and the ability to play all three outfield spots. He’s owed $6.85 million in 2016 and will then be a free agent.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.