Addressing the need that unfortunately now exists for a right fielder, Cardinals made a trade with the Braves today and acquired Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.
More after the official press release from the Cardinals …
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed with the Atlanta Braves on a four-player trade that will bring outfielder Jason Heyward and right-handed pitcher Jordan Walden to the Cardinals in exchange for pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.
Heyward, 25, is a two-time (2012 and 2014) National League Rawlings Gold Glove selection who has posted a .262 career batting mark with 84 home runs and 292 RBI to go along with 63 stolen bases since debuting with the Braves as an All-Star in 2010 (.277 BA, 18 HR, 72 RBI) and finishing 2nd that year to the Giants Buster Posey in the N.L. Rookie of the Year balloting. The left-handed hitting Heyward batted .271 this past season with 11 HRs and 58 RBI while stealing 20 bases and he finished as a finalist to Yadier Molina in the Rawlings Platinum Glove voting for the best defensive player in the National League.
The 6-5, 245-pound Heyward was the Braves 1st round draft selection (14th player overall) in 2007. He led N.L. right fielders in putouts and assists in both 2012 and 2014 and hit a career-high 27 home runs in 2012. The Georgia native has shown his lineup versatility by having started over 100 games each in the lead-off, number two and number three batting order positions during his career.
Walden, who celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday, is a hard-throwing right-hander who in 2011 led the Los Angeles Angels in saves with 32 and was named an American League All-Star that same season when he finished 5th in the junior circuit in saves and complied a 2.98 ERA. The 6-5, 250-pound Texas native struck out 62 batters in 50.0 innings pitched this past season and he had a 2.88 ERA to go along with three saves.
Walden, who has appeared in 50 or more games in three of the past four seasons, led the Braves with 20 holds in 2014. His career mark is 12-13 with a 3.10 ERA and 38 saves in 231 games pitched, striking out 254 batters in 211.2 IP.
With that, Shelby Miller was the Cardinals 1st round draft pick in 2009 (19th pick overall) and made his big-league debut in September 2012. His career record is 26-18 with a 3.33 ERA. Tyrell Jenkins was a Cards prospect and supplemental 1st round selection in 2010 (50th pick overall). Last season had a 6-5 record and 3.28 ERA at Class A Palm Beach and just completed play in the Arizona Fall League.
Miller has certainly had his growing pains at times during his Cardinals career, but the same could be said for Heyward in his Braves career. And, trite of a thought as it is, you have to give something of quality to get something of quality. Walden looks to be a good addition for the bullpen, especially with the likely free agent departures there, plus has closing experience.
Thoughts on the trade?