A year ago today, the St. Louis Cardinals traded Jon Jay to the San Diego Padres for Jedd Gyorko. How did the trade pan out for both teams?
As we wait for John Mozeliak to make a move this offseason, let’s revisit a trade that happened a year ago today at the annual Winter Meetings. Today is the one-year anniversary of the St. Louis Cardinals‘ trade of longtime outfielder Jon Jay to the San Diego Padres for infielder Jedd Gyorko.
How did the trade play out for both teams? The short answer — the Cardinals got a steal on this one.
Check out the numbers for both players in 2016.
Jay’s season with the Padres produced a 1.1 fWAR, while Gyorko’s season with the Cardinals was worth a 2.3 fWAR. Jay was hampered by injuries once again in 2016, and if this trade was only looked at for one season, the Cardinals got more value for the guy they obtained.
What makes this trade more of a steal for St. Louis is the Padres only got that one season from Jay before he jumped on the Chicago Cubs bandwagon and struck a one-year $8M deal with the Cubbies.
Jay did, however, prove that he can still hit around .290 or .300 when he is able to get on the field, which is probably why he intrigued the Cubs as a backup or platoon option in the outfield next season.
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Gyorko, on the other hand, is under control with the Cardinals until 2020, and Mozeliak even convinced the Padres to pay $7.5M of Gyorko’s contract. He provided fantastic power off the Cardinals bench in 2016, and when second baseman Kolten Wong came up with the flu early in the season (and was inexplicably benched by manager Mike Matheny any time he had a bit of a slump offensively), Gyorko stepped in as a regular starter at second base and third base for the Cardinals and took advantage of the extra playing time.
Despite only accumulating 400 at-bats last season, the 28-year-old smacked a career-high thirty homers, becoming the first Cardinal to achieve that feat since Carlos Beltran blasted thirty-two in 2012. It was quite the power season for the utility infielder.
What has to be more frustrating for the Padres (and their fan base) is how badly their former player torched them last year. In seven games against San Diego, Gyorko went 14-for-25 (good for an absurd .560/.593/1.360 slash line) with six home runs and eleven RBI. Gyorko made his old club pay for trading him — big time.
Gyorko still has several more years to go in this deal to know if this trade will truly be a home run for the Cardinals in the long term. But right now it looks like a grand slam.
The fact that the Padres only got one season of Jay seems to make this one already a big win for St. Louis. By 2020 we could be saying that the Gyorko trade is one of the best moves Mozeliak has made in his time as general manager.