The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Jason Heyward and right-hander Jordan Walden from the Atlanta Braves for righty Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins, the teams announced.
Heyward will be the outfielder the Cardinals lost with the unfortunate passing of Oscar Taveras. It didn't take a ton to get him from Atlanta, considering the fact that they also got excellent setup man Jordan Walden along with him. They gave up promising the righty Miller, however, along with former first round pick Tyrell Jenkins, who, at 21, is still progressing through the minors.
The Braves almost had to move Heyward. He is a free agent at the end of next season, and they weren't willing to pay him, apparently. Instead of just letting him walk in free agency, they moved him for a return, and if Jenkins turns out to be good, they will get a good return for Heyward. But they also had to move Walden along with Heyward.
The 25-year-old Heyward was drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Braves and worked quickly though the minors, first appearing in the big leagues in 2010. He is named to his lone All-Star team in 2010, but still has posted solid offensive seasons every year, while providing excellent defense, as he captured his second career Gold Glove this season.
This past season, Heyward hit .271/.351/.384 with 11 homers and 58 runs batted in over 649 plate appearances. He posted a 24.1 UZR along with a 5.1 fWAR, the second-highest mark of his career. Heyward has a lifetime 117 wRC+ and averages a 17.1 UZR per 150 games.
The Cardinals will also receive Jordan Walden, who went 0-2 with a 2.88 ERA and a 127 ERA+ over 50 innings with Atlanta. The setup man recorded 20 holds. Walden is the former Angels closer who saved 32 games back in 2011, his lone All-Star year. He strikes out a ton of hitters and will be great with Trevor Rosenthal at the back end of St. Louis' bullpen.
Miller, 24, went 10-9 with a 3.74 ERA and a 98 ERA+ over his 183 innings pitched this season. He is also a former first round pick and still has a very bright future, adding pitching depth to the Braves staff. Jenkins posted a 3.28 ERA in 74 innings pitched with High-A this season.