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There is plenty of blame to go around with the St. Louis Cardinals’ disappointing 2021 season.
With serious World Series aspirations, the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals find themselves below .500 and in fourth place in a deep NL Central entering July.
St. Louis was expected to be challenged by the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers to some extent in the division. But through the first three months of the season, Milwaukee has begun to run away with it, with the Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates chasing them in that order. The Cardinals are too good of a team to miss out on the postseason this season.
Here are four players who could be moved if St. Louis wants to usher in a bit of a youth movement.
St. Louis Cardinals: 4 disappointing veterans who could be replaced by the MLB trade deadline
SS St. Louis Cardinals
Paul DeJong has been a black hole at the plate and the Cardinals need to replace him
A big issue hurting the Cardinals this season is they are getting pretty much next to nothing offensively from their middle infield positions. While it was controversial to not bring back second baseman Kolten Wong on a new deal, it might even be more so to potentially cut bait with shortstop Paul DeJong well before his contract is up. He has been abysmal at the plate in 2021.
The 2017 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up and 2019 NL All-Star is slashing an atrocious .169/.271/.354 in 53 games. While he does have 10 home runs this season, he is hitting well below his career batting average of .242. When one-third of your total base hits are home runs, that could be an issue for a club offensively. The problem is he is under contract through 2023.
Are the Cardinals going to dump DeJong? No, as he is too expensive, and the Cardinals have bigger fish to fry in getting this underperforming team right. However, St. Louis could conceivably trade him and see what a younger and significantly cheaper option in Edmundo Sosa can do with more playing time. Either way, the Cardinals cannot have its shortstop hitting below the Mendoza Line.
St. Louis was totally counting on DeJong to be a bigger part of the offense’s identity this season.