The Athletics have officially acquired outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals. Minor league infielders Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock will head back to St. Louis in the swap.
Piscotty, who seemed like a shoo-in to leave the Cardinals via trade entering the offseason, became especially superfluous to the Redbirds when they swung a blockbuster to acquire fellow outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday. That deal left the Cardinals with three highly qualified starting outfielders in Ozuna, Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham, thus leading to the end of Piscotty’s tenure with the club.
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Now 26, Piscotty joined the St. Louis organization as a first-round pick in 2012 and flashed moments of brilliance during his short major league stint there. Between his debut in 2015 and the end of the ’16 campign, the right-handed hitter slashed a terrific .282/.348/.467 with 29 home runs and a 3.9 fWAR in 905 plate appearances. The auspicious start to Piscotty’s career was enough to convince the Cardinals to award him a six-year extension worth a guaranteed $33.5MM prior to last season.
Unfortunately for St. Louis, early returns on the newly extended Piscotty weren’t positive in 2017. While Piscotty managed to significantly increase his walk rate to 13 percent (up from around 8 percent from 2015-16), his offensive production took an overall dive as he batted a disappointing .235/.342/.367 with nine homers and a subpar .132 ISO (down 53 points from the previous two seasons).
The Athletics will now hope for a bounce-back from Piscotty, a Northern California native and Stanford alumnus. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that the Cards hoped a Piscotty trade would give him a chance to be closer to his mother, who’s battling ALS, and they were able to make good on that.
As Piscotty deals with a tragic situation off the field, he may be in line for a revival on it; his age, 2015-16 output and batted-ball misfortune are all encouraging signs. Piscotty finished 2017 with a .319 wOBA, but the number should have been closer to a solid .340, according to Statcast.
If Piscotty does return to something resembling his best form in Oakland, he’ll be an effective, affordable and young piece for the low-payroll club. The A’s saw other position player building blocks in first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman come to the fore in 2017, and, barring trades, have established hitters on hand in DH Khris Davis, corner outfielder Matt Joyce, second baseman Jed Lowrie and shortstop Marcus Semien. Piscotty, who’s likely to play opposite Joyce in one of the corners next year, is now in line to join a growing group of talent on a rebuilding club.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who has long reported upon the A’s interest in Piscotty, reported yesterday that the deal was nearing completion and today that a framework was in place (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of FanRag tweeted the deal was in place, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported it was moving forward this morning, and MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweeted the swap was official.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
So long Piscotty! I really liked the guy, hope he enjoys Oakland being that it’s closer to home for him
Headed home. Best of luck Stephen. Gonna miss ya.
Good for him, I hope he find success there.
Bummer. Loved watching him play when he was in AA (my hometown). Loved watching him produce in STL even more. Happy trails
Very sad to see Stephen leave, and I hope he really enjoys it in Oakland. I just saw something where he said he’d prefer to stay, so I hope he does well.
Also gonna be fumed if he didn’t want to go, and the Cardinals get loser returns. Just saw Hendriks and Montas listed and while I didn’t look at them at all, at a glance they seem subpar at best.
Looked, according to SIERA/FIP/xFIP Hendriks was far better than his ERA/other numbers suggests, as well as Montas however Montas will still need a fair amount of work.
It also says a package of prospects, so I doubt Hendriks will be part of the 2 player package for Piscotty.
I know they saw prospects, so that’s why I question it. I was going off the A’s writer (Sara something?) Hopefully its decent but I don’t really mind as long as Stephen’s happy with the move.
@CompanyAssasin – No matter what sort of nice words Piscotty says about missing the Cardinals on the way out, the full story isn’t just that he’s originally from the Bay Area.
His mother found out earlier this year – during the 2017 season – that she has ALS. His parents still live in the Bay Area. It’s tough to think, on a personal level, that Piscotty doesn’t appreciate the opportunity to be on one of the Bay Area teams and see her more often.
great reporting. I’m sure that is a huge draw. Good for him.
I knew his mother had ALS, and that’s his hometown. I want him to be happy there, I definitely hope he is. I just heard something different from him in an interview when asked about it, but I’m hoping it was simply trying to not cause PR problems. I won’t be bothered by the package provided he’s happy. I just don’t want the Cardinals trying to make a quick flip.
This is a very strange line of commentary, you want happy players not to be traded?
I only want him to be traded, provided he’s happy with the destination. I was a little worried by an interview when he was asked about a trade to Oakland, he flatly said “no I’d rather stay.” But everyone says he’ll be happy with the move, so that’s all I care about
Funny enough, Piscotty’s WAR/600 PA isn’t far off from Ozuna’s, averaged over each’s career. And Piscotty’s younger. Nonzero chance Piscotty is the better player (he was the better prospect). Not sure this series of trades is as big a slam dunk for StL as people think.
Piscotty had a .700 ops, Ozuna was more than .200 points higher. I think there will be a difference. And I think that there is a one year age difference.
Could just be a down year for Piscotty though. Ozuna is way better though, just not as much as people are making him put to be
Ozuna is better, there’s no debate, but Piscotty is a very good player with a down year. If he returns to his prior form, he’s a very good asset.
Exactly. This will be a good trade for the Cards, but depending on how Piscotty does it could be either way better or just a good trade
Piscotty had a down year, Ozuna had a breakout year.
He was talking about averages over their career.
Good point but I don’t think Mo and Dewitt are willing to sit around and try to let things work themselves out on their own anymore.
Well, they dodged the Stanton bullet. That would have been too much contract wise.
Gonna miss him but it’s for the best. He gets a chance to play everyday and he’s now closer to his mom. Good luck Stephen!
What r the cardinals doing with grichuck?
Leaving him on the side of the road with a “to good home” sign hopefully.
He will probably be apart of a larger trade in the next few days
Probably going to the Rays if they can hammer something out on Colome and possibly Longoria.
Probably keep him as a 4th outfielder, I think. Grichuk fits that role better than Piscotty because Grichuk can play center if needed.
Many people suspect, (and I hope) that Harrison Bader will be the fourth OF’er
Well, I think Bader will be the fifth outfielder behind either Grichuk or Jose Martinez while one of the two gets traded.
I see this as a possibility because Pham, Fowler, and Ozuna can “handle” cf
Two minor leaguers sounds like the Cardinals have a choice of two among Munoz, Montas and Nunez.
I would prefer Allen and Montas really. But oh well.
I suspect they may keep grichuck seeing as though Dexter is injury prone.
They’ve still got O’Neill, Bader, and Jose Martinez on the OF depth chart. I say trade Grichuk for a bucket of balls, a bag of dill pickle David’s sunflower seeds and a 2014 hooters calendar
That’s a sticky calendar if it was in any of these nerds possession
keep randal, send jose martinez packing. throw carpenter and greg garcia in with him.
Well that’s a pretty dumb idea, troll.
What? Who would replace Carpenter at 1st, especially if you throw in Martinez. Randall is probably going to be offered up in another trade, hopefully for Colom. Martinez could very well be a 4th outfielder/1st baseman. He showed a lot to promise last year. Garcia is a great utility player. So why would they dump them in a trade?
grichuk isn’t going anywhere, now that piscotty is gone. the less options matheny has, the better. he can’t manage what he has, so limiting his options might make them a better team.
Hope he enjoys being closer to home and has a great career. Nothing but love for SP in STL. I wish him the best.
Solid move for the A’s. they are almost there. Probably competitive in 2 years.
They were already competitive. If you mean contending, then we’ll see…but if they can add one more good bullpen arm and a veteran SP they might be in the hunt for the wildcard in 2018.
I’m not sure we’ll need a veteran starting pitcher. We’ve got a huge bounce back candidate in Sean Manaea as well, who suffered from weight loss and subsequent loss of endurance and stamina as the season progressed. Healthy he throws a slightly above average fastball with sink, a hard change up, a wipe out slider and he’s recently started incorporating an actual sinker into his repertoire. Graveman also dealt with injury but showed control over 4 pitches this season, so he has that to build on.
I’d love to get my hands on Watson, but I get the feeling he’ll be too expensive for us or cost us too many years. That’s who the A’s are eyeing to fill that that second lefty role in the bullpen that was vacated when we traded Doolittle.
Really liked Piscotty. However, his being from Northern California and his mother’s ALS diagnosis, this seems to be a move to help him out and get something in return.
Both teams are very good at running things and like this move this well. By the way, if Montas is in the trade this will be his 5th team already
that’s a lot of lot of writing for very little info on the trade.
Good luck Stephen. Our best to your mother, as well.
Here come the “Cardinals front office blows because they won’t spend money” comments
Seems like you were wrong there, hearing a lot of well wishes and not much negative about the FO.
There’s no doubt in my mind that 2017 will not be a typical year that Piscotty will look back on after his career is over. He is only 26, and obviously his mom is very dear to him, that’s why he was emotionally distracted half the season last year.
I wouldn’t be surprised if standing at the plate he is thinking about her. All the best to you Stephen. I hope being so much closer to home gives him some calmness and peace of mind. I credit the classy Cardinal organization for benefitting everyone involved in this trade, and not just trading him to wherever to improve the team. Some things in life are alot more important than baseball.
Piscotty is the type of player the A’s have success with, good move.
a’s will trade him like they do with everyone else
Not until his contract is about to expire
And that has anything to do with this how?
It’s just an easy comment for idiots to make about how our team operates. Like Billy I see no point in letting a player walk in free agency or sell with less value if we can get a package for a player.
Well I guess that’s our big bat upgrade.
Any given year we’ve got a team that will be dominant if we are able to roll Yahtzee. Haven’t rolled better than a pair of 3s the last couple years.
I think Piscotty is going to be worthy of everyday at bats. Sucks there just isn’t any room for him. We knew him or Grichuk would be gone. Despite his .235 ba he still had a good OBP. I think his OPS will revert back to above .800 and he will hit about 15-20 hr again. He was never going to be a 30 hr guy. If he’s a team’s 4th or 5th best hitter they will be just fine. StL wanted him to be in the 3 hole, which said more about the rest of the lineup than it did him.
As a Cub fan thank god, he always killed them. Especially at Wrigley
Classy trade for both sides. Piscotty has great potential as a player and I hope going to Oakland where he can be closer to his mother can help him develop that potential. Treat him well, A’s fans.
You’re a real POS
This guy is true to his name
Troll…..If it was your mom, it’d be a different story……wouldn’t it?!?
I’m sure he’d be proud of that title.
probably been called that all his life. he’s used to it by now
Maybe that’s y ur momma gave u up troll!
Good luck Stephen Piscoty!!! You will always be a Cardinal. Hope being in Oakland near your family works well in all directions for you and your family and your career!!!
Piscoty comes with physical issues? Well then that is not the best trade scenario specially considering Munoz and Schrock are great prospects simply put!
Use Munez and Schrock to sweeten that Machado deal.
I’m proud to be a fan of the Cardinals organization…this trade was made so that Piscotty could be close to his family and his mother…thank you Cardinals
You got some solid MiLB prospects too. I agree though, the Cardinals are a class organization and unlike Yankee fans that go nuts over every trade how they “screwed the other team and Cashman is a GOAT” the Cardinal fans seem to understand baseball as well as any fanbase.
Every team has their clown-fans, but those seem to be in the minority w/StL.
I’m excited to see him in the Green&Gold in ’18
Schrock is a beast. He played college ball at SC when I was a student there, struggled with injuries but always showed amazing plate discipline. He has got all the makings of a staring second baseman in the 2 hole.
Good trade for the A’s if piscotty bounces back to his form from two years ago
More likely to happen now that he’s closer to where his mother is. I wish the best of luck to him.
I’ve been reading a lot about him and his mother today. Can someone give me the details about this ?
His mother has ALS. She was diagnosed early last season. So he had to deal with that and had a bunch of nagging injuries. The team let him take some time off to be with his family at one point and he never really got it going at the plate like in previous seasons.
I see. Well thank you red birds for bringing him to his mother !!
Good luck Stephen, one of my favorite Cardinals. A’s fans, I think you are going to love his play if he bounces back.
Good luck piscotty we will miss u the STL
Good luck to Piscotty in Oakland. I hope he bounces back to his previous level, but to put in perspective just how disappointing he was last year, the Cardinals had a starting pitcher (Wainwright) hit for a higher OPS than Piscotty did in 2017.
Piscotty’s situation reminds me a lot of Jean Segura’s in Milwaukee. Everyone was down on Segura for having a bad year and a half despite it occurring right after his child died. Piscotty obviously had more important things on his mind last year aside from baseball. I look for a big rebound if not this year then definitely in 2019.
While I’m sure his mother’s terminal illness didn’t help matters, he also changed his swing for some reason and it really screwed him up.
Hopefully for him the A’s can get him back to his old self