Although the trade is not yet official, the Cardinals have Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins, giving them a very potent bat for their lineup. It also gave them way too many outfielders. Ozuna joins Dexter Fowler, Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty, and Randal Grichuk in the outfield.
On Thursday, the Cardinals cleared up that logjam by trading Piscotty to the Athletics, . Oakland is sending two prospects to St. Louis in the trade.
The Cardinals have traded OF Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics for SS Yairo Muñoz and 2B Max Schrock.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) December 14, 2017
The 26-year-old Piscotty signed a six-year extension worth $33.5 million earlier this year, though he struggled during the season and hit .235/.342/.367 (88 OPS+) with nine home runs in 401 plate appearances. That comes after hitting .273/.343/.457 (113 OPS+) with 22 home runs in 2016.
The Cardinals did need to move an outfielder to clear up the logjam after landing Ozuna, yes, though that was not their only motivation for trading Piscotty. According to reports, they made the effort to trade him back to the Bay Area so that he could be close to home and spend more time with his mother, who was diagnosed with ALS earlier this year.
There is no cure for ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, though research and recent advances in medicine have helped improve the quality of life for patients.
The Cardinals could have easily kept Piscotty and hoped his bat would rebound in 2018, allowing them to trade him for better prospects, but they decided against that and did what was best for him. The Athletics, who needed an outfielder themselves, were happy to oblige. Classy move by the Cardinals.