CARDINALS & BLUE JAYS ANNOUNCE TRADE
MINOR LEAGUE CATCHER SAMMY HERNANDEZ JOINS REDBIRDS; PITCHER GÉNESIS CABRERA SENT TO TORONTO
ST. LOUIS, MO., July 21, 2023 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that they have acquired minor league catcher Samuel “Sammy“ Hernandez from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera who had been designated for assignment on Monday.
Hernandez, 19, was the Blue Jays 14th round selection in the 2022 MLB Draft out of Lakeland (Fla.) High School.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the 5-9, 185-pound Hernandez has played this season for both the FCL Blue Jays and Dunedin (Single-A) of the Florida State League. He will be assigned to the FCL Cardinals roster.
The right-handed hitting Hernandez was batting .261 in 14 games this season with the FCL Blue Jays, with seven of his 12 hits going for extra bases. Fourteen of his combined 32 hits between Dunedin and FCL Blue Jays this year have been for extra bases, including three home runs.
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Cabrera was unhappy with his role with the Cardinals and was designated for assignment earlier this week; the Blue Jays see him as a change of scenery candidate and I think that could be the case as well.
Some national media is reporting that this is the beginning of the Cardinal’s fire sale, but this is really a minor move. I think the post-All-Star break success of the Cardinals might cause the front office to rethink being sellers; I think that would be a mistake though, as this team is not a playoff contender.
Hernandez is long off from joining the team in St. Louis. Hernandez received an above slot $200,000 bonus when he was drafted (teams were limited to $125,000 bonuses in the 11th round or later in 2022). At the time of the draft, Hernandez was projected to have plus raw power; unfortunately he hasn’t turned it into in game power. He’s still young and developing though, so we can’t discount him yet.
He also played some third base in high school, but he’s expected to stay at catcher. He’s got a good arm and solid instincts behind the plate. No word on his pitch calling abilities, which is probably something the Cardinals should think about more often now.