St. Louis Cardinals: Keeping Jedd Gyorko?
There have been rumors swirling all off-season about the St. Louis Cardinals looking at options for improving at third base. What does this mean for current 3B Jedd Gyorko going forward? Will St. Louis look to move him via trade or use him as the utility player he was originally brought in to be?
Gyorko had signed a 5 year/$31M contract with the San Diego Padres prior to being dealt to St. Louis for Jon Jay. His $31M was guaranteed and an annual average salary of $6.2M. In 2019, he will earn $13M base and carry a $13M total salary, with an adjusted salary for the Cardinals of $8M (according to spotrac.com). He’s signed through the 2020 season.
Jedd (now 30 yrs old) has not been a bad get for St. Louis. Many do not see him as an everyday third baseman, but offensively he hasn’t exactly been a disappointment (especially at the cost). The past 3 seasons, Gyorko has slashed .243/.306/.495 with 30 HR & 59 RBI, .272/.341/.472 with 20 HR & 67 RBI and .262/.346/.416 with 11 HR & 47 RBI, respectively.
With the uncertainty surrounding St. Louis’ 2019 intentions for Gyorko, and Greg Garcia being picked up on waivers by the Padres last month, that would leave Yairo Munoz as the super-utility player and potentially only infield option on the Cardinals bench.
It makes sense that John Mozeliak & Michael Girsch are looking to improve the hot corner and had been linked to Josh Donaldson before he signed with Atlanta, as well as rumor that the team could be in on Mike Moustakas as well.
With the November 30th deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, more infield names are now on the free agent market than there were last week.
Yangervis Solarte (Blue Jays)
Solarte (age 31), has spent 5 seasons in the majors. His offensive numbers from 2018 slipped a bit from previous seasons as he ended the year with a .226/.277/.378 slashline in 122 games. He played mostly 3B (83 games) but did play 2B as well (28). His career totals of 74 HR & 300 RBI indicates that he indeed has some power, and his defensive versatility is appealing for most teams looking for a utility player.
Jonathan Schoop (Brewers)
Schoop (age 27), has 6 seasons of MLB service. His best season being 2017, where he was an All-Star for the Baltimore Orioles. He was brought in by the Brewers last season via trade. His 2018 numbers took a hit, from his .244/.273/.447 slashline, 17 HR & 40 RBI in 85 games for the O’s, to only 4 HR, 21 RBI and a slashline of .202/.246/.331 in 46 games for the Brew Crew. He can play both 2B & SS and has played 3B in the past (albeit only 17 games).
Tim Beckham (Orioles)
Beckham (soon to be 29 years old), saw a big improvement in 2017 when he switched teams. His slashline of .247/.299/.421 in Tampa Bay was outshined by his .306/.348/.523 for the Orioles in which he belted 10 HR. Last season however, he struggled for Baltimore. In 96 games, Beckham ended 2018 with 12 HR & 35 RBI, and hit .230/.287/.374.
Ronald Torreyes (Cubs)
Torreyes (age 26) had a short stay in the Cubs organization, as he was traded from the Yankees to Chicago on November 28, 2018 for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Two days later the Cubs decided to not tender him a contract making him a free agent. In 2018 for the Yankees, Torreyes had a slashline of .280/.294/.370 in 41 games that wasn’t far off of his 2017 numbers where in 108 games his numbers were .292/.314/.375. He spent time as a 3B, 2B, SS & occasional OF in New York.
Chris Owings (Diamondbacks)
Owings (27 yrs old) has spent the past 6 seasons as an Arizona Diamondback. Another utility player that has played 2B, 3B, SS & OF, his 2018 slashline of .206/.272/.302 was not worth Arizona tendering him a contract and like the other players listed, forcing him into free agency.
I personally believe keeping Jedd Gyorko would be a plus over any of these recently non-tendered free agent options. The Cardinals might have a slight upgrade at 3B if they do land Mike Moustakas. And even with defensive worry of sliding Matt Carpenter to 3B upon a possible Goldschmidt trade, Gyorko should still have value as a bench player for St. Louis.
What are your thoughts as it pertains to Jedd Gyorko and the Cardinals?
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