Toronto Blue Jays trade Randal Grichuk to Colorado Rockies for Raimel Tapia

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded slugger Randal Grichuk to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for outfielder Raimel Tapia, it was announced Thursday.

The Rockies will receive $9.7 million in cash from the Blue Jays, while Toronto also gets minor league infielder Adrian Pinto in the deal.

Grichuk, who was dealt two days after hitting a grand slam in a spring training game, hit .241 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs for Toronto last season, playing primarily in center and right field.

The cash going to Colorado will offset a little more than half of the $18.7 million that Grichuk is owed over the final two campaigns of his $52 million, five-year contract.

Toronto will pay Colorado $9,716,333 — $5,383,333 this year and $4,333,333 in 2023 — covering a little more than half the $18.66 million owed to Grichuk, who has salaries of $9.33 million in each of the next two seasons.

Having spent four seasons each with the Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals, Grichuk, 30, has 156 career home runs — including a career-high 31 in 2019.

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The Blue Jays signed Grichuk to a long-term deal in 2019 but he wasn’t assured of a starting job.

Toronto has George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the outfield.

Tapia agreed this week to a $3.95 million, one-year contract and is eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.

The Rockies’ free agent signing of infielder/outfielder Kris Bryant had a big impact on Tapia, who was penciled in as the team’s left fielder before Bryant’s arrival. Tapia became the odd-outfielder-out with Sam Hilliard in center and Charlie Blackmon in right.

Known for his speed, Tapia, who hits from the left side, tied for the team lead with a career-high 20 stolen bases last season. The 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic also hit .273 with 6 homers and 50 RBI.

In 2020, Tapia got a boost in playing time with Ian Desmond electing to opt out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tapia concluded with a career-best .321 average that season.

Pinto earned MVP honors in the Dominican Summer League after hitting .360 for DSL Colorado. He also stole a league-leading 41 bases. The 19-year-old signed with the Rockies as an international free agent in July 2019.

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