The St. Louis Cardinals addressed their need for an utility infielder after trading Jon Jay to the San Diego Padres for Jedd Gyorko.
With Gyorko under team control through the 2019 season, the Cardinals are looking forward to how the versatile player can help contribute for the next several years.
"The exciting thing for us is that [Gyorko] gives us that flexibility," general manager John Mozeliak told MLB.com. "We've approached the offseason with chasing some bigger things, of course, but also knowing that if we could make some small, incremental differences to the club, in the end that would pay off."
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Gyorko, who was surprised by the move to St. Louis from the Padres, is excited to be a part of a team that will likely be playing meaningful games late in the season, and into the playoffs.
"I didn't see it coming," Gyorko said. "In San Diego the last three years, I haven't played a meaningful game in September. … The opportunity, as far as that goes, winning 100 games, going to the playoffs, I think that's a pretty good opportunity [with the Cardinals]."
Along with playing for a winning club, Gyorko is also likely glad to be stepping away from the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, going to a more balanced-sized stadium in Busch Stadium. In 2015, Gyorko was demoted to Triple-A for some time as his production was suffering at the big-league level. He returned to the Padres with much better numbers in the 82 games he played in his comeback to the club.
"Sometimes playing at Petco [Park], you try to do a little bit too much," Gyorko said. "It's a big field and can be a tough place to hit, a place that kind of gets in your head. Sometimes you try to get overly aggressive. When I stepped back and kind of let the game come to me and put good swings [on pitches], I think the results showed that it worked out pretty well.
"Obviously, no one ever wants to get sent down. But at the time, I wasn't getting consistent at-bats, and I think that's what I needed at the time. I needed to get down and see live pitching and get my swing back to where it needed to be."