What happened. Along with the trade of Aledmys Diaz, the St. Louis Cardinals tendered contracts to all remaining unsigned players on their 40 man roster ahead of tonight’s 8 pm Eastern tender deadline. That includes outfielder Randal Grichuk and pitchers Michael Wacha and Tyler Lyons.
The story. Major League clubs were due to tender contracts to their Major League players who were under team control today. Salaries are yet to be set through salary arbitration or by the team if players are not yet eligible for arbitration.
The numbers. Randal Grichuk, 26, hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and a 94 wRC+ in 442 plate appearances last season. He received 36 fewer plate appearances than he did last season, but for all intents, most of his walk rates were virtually identical with his 2016 campaign. I’m a big fan of Grichuk as a player. He hits a ridiculous amount of extra base hits for being as poor of an overall hitter as he is (only Giancarlo Stanton and Nolan Arenado have been better since he arrived in the Majors) and plays plus defense.
Grichuk is a prime trade target this winter as the Cardinals make an effort to thin out their outfield ranks. However, I am on record saying that I think that’s a mistake. Grichuk is the perfect player to pencil in 8th almost every night and just let him go.
Michael Wacha, 26, posted a 4.13 ERA and a 12-9 record over 30 starts this season for the Cardinals, throwing 165.2 innings. For Wacha, the biggest success of the season was that he remained healthy through the year and took the ball 30 times. He also posted a 3.63 FIP, which is lower than the 3.87 FIP he posted during his All Star season in 2015.
Tyler Lyons, 29, posted a 2.83 ERA over 54 relief innings for the Cardinals as he made the full time transition to the bullpen. Late in the summer, Lyons had an incredible run of success where through July and August he was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. His 11.3 K/9 was a career best for him at any level.
The impact. 3/10. It has some impact, but there were no surprises today. Even the trade of Diaz was expected to some extent. Depending on the moves this team makes, all three of these arbitration eligible players who the club tendered contracts to is expected to play a big role.