It’s a somewhat surprising trade, but one that makes sense for both sides.
Grichuk’s shortcomings as a player are well-known at this point: he has a career .245 batting average and a less than ideal .293 on-base percentage.
However, he does have considerable power and could hit a lot of dingers in Coors Field.
Additionally, he has more opportunities for playing time in Colorado than in the crowded Blue Jays’ outfield.
The 30-year-old thumper will make $10.3 million in both 2022 and 2023.
The Blue Jays Wanted A More Traditional Backup Outfielder
On the other hand, the Jays are getting a more traditional backup outfielder, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith explained.
“Could see Randal Grichuk hitting 30+ HR in Colorado. Likely more playing time there. Meanwhile, Raimel Tapia would give #BlueJays more of a traditional bench OF. Some CF experience. But has mostly played LF. Would be interesting to see how confident #Jays are with Tapia in CF,” he wrote.
Could see Randal Grichuk hitting 30+ HR in Colorado. Likely more playing time there.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) March 24, 2022
For a team like the Blue Jays, finding a corner outfielder who can hit 25-30 home runs is not as difficult as finding someone who can cover all three outfield positions adequately while not being a liability at the plate.
The Blue Jays have more than enough power without Grichuk, so they could afford to pull the trigger on this trade.
Grichuk hit .241/.281/.423 with 22 homers last season with the Jays.
Tapia, on the other hand, hit .273 with 69 runs, six homers, 50 RBI, 20 steals and a .699 OPS in 2021.
However, he has been much better in the past and could thrive in Toronto.