WVU baseball standout Jedd Gyorko has endured plenty in his first three seasons as a Major League Baseball player, and now he’s experienced his first trade.
As the MLB Winter Meetings have gotten well underway, Gyorko was traded from the San Diego Padres to the St. Louis Cardinals early Tuesday morning.
Gyorko, who played throughout the infield for the Padres, was traded for outfielder Jon Jay and cash considerations, according to multiple reports.
While in San Diego for three seasons, Gyorko compiled a .236 batting average, a .293 on-base percentage and a .395 slugging percentage. He hit 49 home runs and 58 doubles while driving in 171 runs over that same span.
But things weren’t always easy for the Mountaineer slugger.
After having one of the most productive rookie seasons in franchise history for the Padres when he hit .249 with 23 home runs, 26 doubles and drove in 63 runs, Gyorko faced problems with injury, even spending some time battling those during his rookie season.
Over the past two seasons, Gyorko has spent time on the disabled list as well as in the minor leagues trying to get healthy and improve upon his game.
Prior to last season, the Padres showed their faith in the young star by giving him a five-year contract extension worth $35 million. Still, Gyroko is guaranteed $33 million through 2019.
UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com, Gyorko is still owed $33 million, but the Cardinals will take on $26 million of Gyroko’s contract, not including Jay’s salary.
The trade could be good for Gyorko, who can erase any pressure of having to carry a team to success.
The Cardinals have a track record of taking young stars who have struggled and turning them into something great. Jason Hayward, who was known as baseball’s next big thing with the Atlanta Braves, came over to St. Louis this past season and had one of his best years to-date.
Gyorko projects to be a backup utility infielder for the Cardinals, who have Jhonny Peralty, Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter playing at the shortstop, second base and third base positions currently.
According to Derrick Goold at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Gyorko will likely be paired with Wong at second base to handle pitching matchups. Goold also called Gyorko the Cardinals’ “desired infielder.”