Cardinals Rumors: Could St. Louis trade Paul DeJong?
If the St. Louis Cardinals sign a free-agent shortstop, could they trade Paul DeJong?
As the Cardinals continue to be connected to Trevor Story and other free-agent shortstops, it raises questions about Paul DeJong’s future in St. Louis.
The Cardinals won’t part with DeJong without landing Story or any other shortstop. They just can’t, even with the emergence of Edmundo Sosa in the second half of the season. But if they do sign a shortstop, it’s reasonable to expect DeJong’s name to come up on the trade market, as MLB Trade Rumors recently outlined.
DeJong, 28, wouldn’t be the most attractive name on the market. After all, he hit only .197/.284/.390 in 356 at-bats this season. He’s hitting only .241/.312/.443 throughout his career. His calling card, however, has always been his power – he has 96 home runs in five seasons – and hit 19 this season. His contract calls for him to earn $17 million through 2023, including a $12.5 million club option for 2024 ($2 million buyout) and a $15 million club option for 2025 ($1 million buyout).
That’s a price point that most teams will not be willing to pay for a shortstop who has battled injuries throughout his career and is seemingly home run or nothing at the plate. But if there is a team who misses on one of the top shortstops – Story, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Carlos Correa and Javier Baez – perhaps they become desperate enough to trade for DeJong.
The Cardinals would not get much in return, with any potential trade being more of a salary dump than anything. They could not justify keeping a player with such a salary on the bench when his money could be used to upgrade the rotation, bullpen or other parts of the roster.
This is one of the many scenarios that will present itself throughout the offseason. But if the Cardinals sign Story, or any other shortstop, it’s a possibility that could quickly become reality.