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Blue Jays land outfielder and send two pitchers to Cardinals

The deal fills needs for both teams

Josh Donaldson. AP

Josh Donaldson. AP | AP

The Blue Jays and the Cardinals swung a trade on Friday afternoon, with St. Louis sending outfielder Randal Grichuk to Toronto in exchange for right-hander Dominic Leone and righty pitching prospect Conner Greene.

The deal fills needs for both teams. Grichuk provides an immediate boost to the Blue Jays' outfield, which had a vacancy in right field with longtime franchise cornerstone Jose Bautista now a free agent.

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The 26-year-old has plenty of pop -- Grichuk hit 22 home runs in 122 games for the Cardinals last season. But he had a rocky season overall at the plate, including a stint in the Minors in June to work on his offense, and he finished the year with a .238/.285/.473 slash line.

The Cards, meanwhile, add another productive reliever to a bullpen that lost now-free-agent Trevor Rosenthal to Tommy John surgery and saw its 2016 closer, Seung Hwan Oh (also now a free agent), struggle last year. The 26-year-old Leone had a 2.56 ERA in 65 relief appearances for Toronto last year, his first with the team, and he notched 81 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. He should slot in nicely in front of new closer Luke Gregerson, whom St. Louis signed in December.

The Cardinals also picked up the Blue Jays' No. 11 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, in Greene. A 22-year-old righty starter who can hit triple digits with his fastball, Greene spent the 2017 season with Toronto's Double-A affiliate. In 26 games, 25 of them starts, he went 5-10 with a 5.29 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 132 2/3 innings.

MLB.com | By David Adler

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