Toronto Blue Jays acquire Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired flamethrowing reliever Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, reinforcing their bullpen the day after they placed closer Jordan Romano on the injured list.

Hicks, perhaps the most sought-after relief arm on the trade market, was the first of what's expected to be a number of players from a disappointing Cardinals team to move. Soon after the Hicks deal was consummated, St. Louis traded left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery and right-handed reliever Chris Stratton to Texas.

In return for Hicks, the Blue Jays will send a pair of minor league right-handers to St. Louis: 21-year-old Sem Robberse and 22-year-old Adam Kloffenstein, both at Double-A. Robberse was ranked the 10th best prospect in Toronto's system by ESPN's Kiley McDaniel before the season.

Hicks, a 26-year-old right-hander, is having his best season in the major leagues and will be a free agent this winter. In 41⅔ innings, he has struck out 59 and allowed just two home runs while saving eight games. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings, his 101-mph average fastball is second in the major leagues behind only Minnesota's Jhoan Duran.

Romano is one of the best closers in baseball but hit the 15-day injured list Saturday with lower-back inflammation. When he returns, he'll pair with Hicks in a Blue Jays bullpen that boasts a 3.67 ERA, the fourth best in baseball.