Randy Arozarena, Tommy Pham, Randall Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty. What do they all have in common?
They are all outfielders who the St. Louis Cardinals parted with. Arozarena, of course, went on to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to the World Series in 2020. Pham is an established veteran outfielder who now plays for the San Diego Padres. Grichuk, a controversial player, has hit at least 22 homers in each of the last four 162-game seasons. And Piscotty, who holds a career .261/.298/.404 slashline, is a starting outfielder for the Oakland A’s.
Adolis Garcia, another outfielders the Cardinals designated for assignment, has hit five home runs and holds a .924 OPS in 55 plate appearances for the Texas Rangers. The numbers do not put him in the same class as the players above, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic pointed out, but it is perhaps another case of “The one that got away” for the Cardinals, a team in desperate need of outfield help.
Now, it is unlikely anyone saw Garcia emerging to have the kind of start that he is having. The Cardinals designated him for assignment in 2019. The Rangers, after acquiring him for cash, designated Garcia for assignment to make room for Mike Foltynewicz and believed/hoped that no team would claim him on waivers.
But it has to sting a bit for a Cardinals team whose outfielders have struggled this season, especially with Harrison Bader still sidelined with a forearm injury. They remain confident that their current group can get it done, however, but there is no doubting that Garcia would have helped this current unit.
Garcia, who won American League’s player of the week award, said during an interview that he was inspired by Arozarena (his roommate in the minors) performance in the 2020 postseason.