Should the Cardinals trade Randal Grichuk? This is a question that surrounds many Cardinal fans these days. Is it worth it to hold on to him and wait for him to pan out or is he is what he is, a streaky hitter that has not really found a consistent spot in this lineup?
On the surface when you look at Randal you would think yes, the Cardinals need to move on from him. He is inconsistent and he has not lived up to his potential of becoming a big-time power bat in the middle of this order.
On the other hand, in my opinion I think Grichuk brings more value to this club as a member of it than as a trade piece. As a stand-alone piece, he doesn’t have that market price that will upgrade this ball club. Around the league he is not seen as a hot commodity. Randal, if he were to be traded, would have to be a part of a package deal. And to fix the problems that the Redbirds have, like a power bat in the 3rd hole, there is going to be a high price tag. You are not going to get a player like Josh Donaldson without giving up a hefty sum. That possible price tag would be Grichuk (or Piscotty), another top Outfield prospect, and one of your young power arms. Maybe even more.
Another reason why I think the Cardinals should not trade Grichuk is because he had a decent 2017 season. He played in 122 games, batted .238, slugged .473, and had an OPS of .758. Randal will never be a guy that hits for high average, that’s just not who he is, so that number does not concern me as much. His .473 slug ranked him 5th on the team and his 22 HRs placed him fourth on the team. The reason I don’t think he got enough credit because he very inconsistent, he’d homer in four straight games then go quiet for the next eight. If he can build on the good moments of 2017 he can definitely become a more consistent in 2018.
Another reason to keep Randal around is his team friendly contract. Randal currently has three years left of arbitration before he hits the open market in 2021. In 2017, he made a salary of $557,200. After arbitration talk this is definitely going to rise. Even if his salary does rise significantly, the production they are getting out of him will out weigh the cost.
All in all, the Cardinals should keep Randal Grichuk around for the 2018 season, at least. I am not saying though that if the right trade comes along for a player like Josh Donaldson or someone comparable that they should not move him.