ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals announced they have acquired right-handed pitcher Riley O’Brien from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for cash considerations and claimed corner infielder/outfielder Jared Young off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. O’Brien, 28, was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 8th round (229th overall) of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft out of the College of Idaho. The 6-foot-4, 180 lb. hurler has two games of Major League experience making his debut with the Cincinnati Reds in a 2021 start versus the Chicago White Sox and made a relief appearance for the Mariners in 2022.
Over six minor league seasons, the Seattle, Wash., native has compiled a 26-25 record with a 3.58 ERA and 504 strikeouts over 439.1 innings pitched. He also has two shutouts and 15 successful saves on his pitching resume. Last season, O’Brien made 51 appearances for the Mariners Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma posting a 2-5 record with a 2.29 ERA and 15 saves. The 2023 Pacific Coast League Postseason All-Star averaged 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched with 86 punchouts over 55.0 innings. In the second half of the season, O’Brien posted a 1.88 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and struck out 43.6% of batters faced over 24.0 innings pitched.
O’Brien shares a Cardinals lineage as he is the grandson of former infielder Johnny O’Brien, who played 12 Major League games for the Redbirds in 1958 including a rare pitching appearance for a position player, the first by any Cardinal position player since Pepper Martin in 1936. His great uncle, Eddie O’Brien, was a utility infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1953-58.
Young, 28, was drafted by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Old Dominion University and made his Major League debut in 2022. The 6-foot, 185 lb. left-handed hitter appeared in 16 games with the Cubs in 2023 and has accumulated 69 plate appearances at the Major League level. Over six minor league seasons, the Prince George, British Columbia, Canada native has hit for a .269 average with a .778 OPS, 69 HR and 319 RBI.
Last season served as a breakout year for Young, who slashed .310/.417/.577 with a career-high 21 HR and 72 RBI across 90 games for AAA Iowa. His .994 OPS ranked 4th among Triple-A players with at least 350 plate appearances. O’Brien and Young will be added to the Cardinals 40-player roster which now stands at 40.