Grichuk, 24, came to the Cardinals alongside Peter Bourjos in the 2013 trade that sent David Freese and Fernando Salas to the Angels. Grichuk was one of two first-round picks by the Angels in the 2009 draft, going 24th overall as compensation for the loss of Francisco Rodriguez to the Mets. (The Angels took Mike Trout with the following selection.) While he never cemented himself as a consensus top prospect around the league, Grichuk had a very strong rookie campaign with St. Louis last year (after a so-so MLB debut in 2014) when he slashed .276/.329/.548 with 17 home runs in 350 plate appearances. That production was aided by an inflated .365 batting average on balls in play, and Grichuk has come back to Earth in that regard early in 2016. However, he’s also made significant strides in his walk rate (6.3 percent in 2015, 13.6 percent in 2016) and strikeout rate (31.4 percent in ’15, 25.8 percent in ’16), so there’s reason to believe that he can improve on this year’s .228/.333/.439 line if he can sustain some of those gains.
With a year and 61 days of service time, Grichuk is controllable through the 2020 season and won’t reach arbitration eligibility until the conclusion of the 2017 campaign. He’ll fall a good bit shy of Super Two designation assuming he’s in the Majors to stay, so he’ll be arb-eligible the standard three times. While it’s impossible to say exactly what type of impact an agency change will have on a player’s long-term status with an organization, Cardinals fans may be interested to see that Excel Sports has brokered its fair share of extensions over the years, negotiating long-term pacts for the likes of Alex Gordon, Freddie Freeman, Chris Johnson and, most recently, Brandon Belt (MLBTR Extension Tracker link). Grichuk’s own teammate and fellow Each of those deals came when the player had already reached arbitration eligibility.
In addition to the players listed above, Excel represents a wide swath of players, including Zack Greinke, Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler and Masahiro Tanaka, among others. All of that info can be found in the MLBTR Agency Database, which contains information on more than 2,500 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any notable omissions or errors within the database, please let us know via email: [email protected].