Cardinals: The problem with trading Paul DeJong

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MLB Insider Jim Bowden has suggested trading St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Trevor Larnach. But, why?

The Athletic’s MLB Insider Jim Bowden has suggested a trade that would make little sense for the St. Louis Cardinals in swapping Paul DeJong for Trevor Larnach.

DeJong has had a terrible stretch of time between the 2020-2021 seasons. A bout of Covid-19 and a string of injuries will wear on a player.

In 2021, DeJong played in 113 games hitting .197/.284/.390 with a +86 wRC. He had 19 home runs. But for his four-season career, .241/.312/.443 with a +102 wRC, 96 home runs, 98 doubles, and 281 RBI. He hit 30 homers in the 2019 season.

DeJong’s pace would lead one to believe the 2021 season was a fluke. The result of dealing with a rib injury. Not a trend.

Cardinals: Was Paul DeJong’s bad 2021 a fluke?

The Cardinals also have a young, potent outfield composed of two-time Gold Glover Tyler O’Neill, Gold Glover Harrison Bader, and one of the club’s top prospects in recent years in Dylan Carlson. It would make little sense to trade away the potential of DeJong for what would amount to depth in an already loaded outfield.

DeJong’s contract would also lead one to have second thoughts on moving him.

DeJong is in the latter half of a six-year, $26 million contract ending in 2023 but includes club options for 2024 and 2025. That is a low cost for the 2019 MLB All-Star shortstop who does have loads of potential.  Fansided’s MLB Insider Robert Murray discusses DeJong’s contract and trade potential here.

Early in the offseason, the Cardinals were rumored to be in the market for an upgrade at shortstop but are now more in need of pitching depth. It would be curious to see them take on a hefty contract for a shortstop when they already have a low-cost option with tons of potential.

It would be even more curious to see the club trade a former All-Star shortstop with potential for an outfielder when the team has a loaded outfield with Gold Glove talent.

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