St. Louis acquired 2nd basemen Jedd Gyorko from the Padres in exchange for center fielder Jon Jay. Gyorko won’t find a starting role on the Cardinals probably, but he could still have a lot of playing time as the Cardinals have already said that they plan to use him at many positions. Gyorko isn’t the most consistent batter, but St. Louis was most likely intrigued by his power as he hit 16 home runs for the Padres last season. 24-year old Cory Spangenberg is likely to see his playing time increase at 2nd base for San Diego next season, so the Padres didn’t have as much of an opportunity to provide Gyorko. Meanwhile, it was basically the same situation for Jon Jay with the Cardinals. Jay was injured a lot last season and he lost playing time to young prospect Tommy Pham in center field, so Jay was basically expendable. Jay probably won’t get a starting outfield job in San Diego, but he provides some more depth for the Padres. Jay hasn’t shown much power in his bat so far, but he is a consistent hitter and he is a terrific defensive center fielder.
Cardinals Grade: C – I’m not quite sure where Gyorko fits into the Cardinals depth chart, but I have no reason to doubt that St. Louis won’t find a role for him. Jon Jay wasn’t giving the Cardinals much in center field, so to be able to get something for him was remarkable.
Padres Grade: C- – I can see why the Padres wanted to get rid of Gyorko because he wasn’t a consistent hitter and the team wanted more playing time for young prospect Cory Spangenberg at 2nd base. However, acquiring Jon Jay just doesn’t make much sense. Jay is often injured and he probably will only be a 4th outfielder at best for the Padres. Jay has good defensive skills, but if he isn’t starting then his talent isn’t that useful.