4 trade heists by the Cardinals in the last 10 years

For as much flak as John Mozeliak has received during his tenure for trades, he has made some great moves in the last decade.

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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3. The St. Louis Cardinals swap OF Jon Jay for INF Jedd Gyorko.

Early in the winter of 2015, the St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Jon Jay to the San Diego Padres for 2B/3B Jedd Gyorko. This was a swap of two major league players hoping to fill a hole for the other team. Some additional cash was also sent to the Cardinals to help cover Gyorko's contract. In theory, both the Cardinals and Padres would benefit from this trade.

Jay struggled in 2015 in only 79 games for the Cardinals. He slashed .210/.306/.257 that year with good defense in center field. Players such as Peter Bourjos, Randal Grichuk, and Harrison Bader could cover well enough in center, so Jay's role was ever-decreasing.

While Kolten Wong was handling second base more than capably, the Cardinals had quite the hole at third base. Matt Carpenter was getting most of the looks at the hot corner from 2014-2015, but his defense left much to be desired. Gyorko would fill the hole at third base for the subsequent 2 years after the trade.

During Gyorko's tenure in St. Louis, he accumulated 7.8 fWAR. Meanwhile, Jon Jay played for 4 different teams in 3 years, and he racked up a meager total of 1.5 fWAR. Injuries and underperformance were the story of Jay's career outside of St. Louis, and he couldn't tap into any power for the Padres, Cubs, Royals, or Diamondbacks from 2016-2018.

It was tough to see such a beloved player leave St. Louis, but Jon Jay needed a change of scenery, and his time in St. Louis was finished. In exchange, the Cardinals filled a hole with a serviceable infielder. Gyorko's career in St. Louis ended on a low note, but he provided great innings at the hot corner in 2016 and 2017.

Gyorko's plus performance outweighed how much more expensive he was than Jon Jay in the end.