DOMINIC LEONE & CONNER GREENE JOIN REDBIRDS; RANDAL GRICHUK HEADS TO TORONTO
ST. LOUIS,MO., January 19, 2018– The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone (pronounced lee-OHN) and Conner Greene from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Randal Grichuk.
Leone, 26, enjoyed a solid 2017 campaign for Toronto, going 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA (12th among American League relievers) and 11 Holds in 65 games pitched, striking out 81 batters in 70.1 innings of work. His 70.1 innings (9th among A.L. relievers) and 81 strikeouts were both 2nd highest among Toronto relievers last season. Leone stranded 42 of 54 inherited runners (78 pct.), ranking 4th among American League relievers (min. 50 inherited runners) and he limited left-handed batters to a .183 average and righties to a .211 mark.
The 5-11, 195-pound Leone owns a career mark of 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 160 outings (all in relief) with Seattle (2014-15), Arizona (2015-16) and Toronto (2017). A Connecticut native, Leone was drafted by Seattle in 2012 (16th round) out of Clemson University and made his Major League debut with the M’s in 2014 when he put together a solid rookie season, going 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 57 games (66.1 IP) with 70 strikeouts. He led all Major League rookie relievers with his eight wins in 2014, finished 2nd to Dellin Betances (NY Yankees, 135) among Junior Circuit rookie relievers in strikeouts, was 3rd in rookie reliever ERA (2.17) and finished as one of just 19 American League relievers to fan 70 or more batters that season.
Greene, 22, went 5-10 with a 5.29 ERA for New Hampshire (AA) in 26 games (25 starts) and fanned 92 batters in 132.2 inning pitched, earning selection to the Eastern League All-Star team. It was his 2nd-straight All-Star season, having also earned mid-season honors in the Florida State League (A) in 2016 when he was 4-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 15 starts for Dunedin.
A 7th round draft selection by the Blue Jays out of Santa Monica (Calif.) High School in 2013, Greene was ranked as the 5th best prospect in the Toronto organization by Baseball America in 2017. The 6-3, 185-pound Greene is 31-31 with a 4.04 ERA in 103 career games (91 starts) since making his professional debut in 2013.
Grichuk, 26, played four seasons (2014-17) with the Cardinals after coming over in a November 2013 trade from the Los Angeles Angels that sent David Freese and Fernando Salas to the Halos. Grichuk owns a career batting mark of .249 with 66 HR’s and 182 RBI in 404 games and he hit .238 last season with 22 HR’s and 59 RBI in 122 games.
Both Leone and Greene will be added to the Cardinals Major League roster, which is currently at the maximum 40 players.