Blue Jays Acquire Reliever Jordan Hicks from the Cardinals

The Toronto Blue Jays have added right-hander Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals, sending two pitching prospects in return.

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUN 27: St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) throws a pitch on his way to picking up a save during a game between the Houston Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals on June 27, 2023, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis MO (Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays have officially entered the trade deadline market, as a report from MLB Network contributor Craig Mish has the Jays acquiring reliever Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for prospect pitchers Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse (according to FanSided’s Robert Murray)

Hicks, who is a pending free agent this offseason, was one of the more intriguing arms on the free agent market this deadline, as the Cardinals are in fire sale mode and it wasn’t clear whether the club was going to be able to extend the fireballing right-hander.

Featuring a five-pitch mix that is dominated by a sinker that sits above 100 MPH with regularity, Hicks complements the heat with a sweeper that has held hitters to a .097 average this season with a 58.6 whiff percentage.

The right-hander got off to a rough start this season, posting a 5.30 ERA through his first 18 outings but has turned it around as of late, posting a 2.07 FIP through his last 23 innings of work dating back to May 19th.

Ad – content continues below

Hicks owns a 12.7 K/9 on the season with 59 punchouts through 41.2 innings, while also being a bit wild at times, amassing a 5.2 BB/9 with a 1.512 WHIP on the year.

He shared closing duties this year with Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley for the Cardinals, with the Texas product producing eight saves so far this campaign. For his career, Hicks owns a 3.98 ERA with 233 strikeouts through 187 outings, adding 28 saves into the mix.

Heading to St. Louis are two pitching prospects, Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse, with Robberse ranking seventh on the Blue Jays prospect rankings via MLB Pipeline.

A third-round selection back in 2018 (drafted alongside Magnolia High School teammate Jordan Groshans), Kloffenstein struggled to find a footing in the Minor Leagues but really turned things around in Double-A New Hampshire this year, posting a 3.24 ERA through 17 starts with the Fisher Cats. Through 89 innings, the right-hander has amassed a 1.270 WHIP with a 10.6 K/9 on the season.

Joining Kloffenstein in St. Louis, Robberse was an international free agent signing out of the Netherlands back in 2019. This season, Robberse has authored a 4.08 ERA with a 1.173 WHIP through 18 starts this season with New Hampshire, striking out 86 batters while holding the walks in check with his 3.3 BB/9.

Both he and Kloffenstein are Rule 5 eligible this offseason per Fangraphs (Kloffenstein was last winter but did not get selected).

Ad – content continues below

With the Blue Jays having a full roster at the moment, they will need to clear space on the 40-man roster in order to add Hicks, which has not been announced at the time this article has been published. The Jays will also need to clear space on the active roster as well, barring another trade, with the most likely candidate being Mitch White being designated for assignment (which clears a roster space in both areas) should a trade not materialize.

Hicks will join former teammate Génesis Cabrera in Toronto, as the two sides made a deal last week to add the left-hander after he was DFA’d by the Cardinals, sending prospect catcher Sammy Hernandez the opposite way.

Given Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano recently went on the IL with a back injury and the impending arrival of Chad Green in the near future, after he has completed his rehab assignment, the Blue Jays bullpen is shaping up to be one of the best relief corps assembled heading into the last two months of the season.