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Blue Jays acquire Paul DeJong from Cardinals for prospect Matt Svanson

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Photo credit:Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
8 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals are quickly becoming best friends, agreeing to their third trade in recent weeks.
After acquiring Jordan Hicks and Génesis Cabrera in July, Toronto’s front office landed another player from St. Louis on Tuesday, shortstop Paul DeJong, according to The Athletic’s Katie Woo, who first reported the deal was completed.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, who originally reported both sides were finalizing a deal, also reports St. Louis is sending cash considerations along with DeJong. The 29-year-old infielder’s contract includes player options in 2024 ($12.5 million, $2 million buyout) and 2025 ($15 million, $1 million buyout).
In return, the Blue Jays are sending right-hander Matt Svanson, who was promoted to double-A New Hampshire on July 31. The 24-year-old owns a 1.11 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 32.1 innings over 26 relief appearances split between single-A Dunedin and high-A Vancouver this season.
DeJong, who turns 30 on Wednesday, is hitting .233/.297/.412 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs across 81 games in 2023. He will serve as much-needed insurance after Bo Bichette left Monday’s contest versus the Baltimore Orioles due to right knee discomfort.
Toronto made the Paul DeJong trade official Tuesday afternoon via social media. To make room for the ex-Cardinals shortstop, outfielder Jordan Luplow was designated for assignment.
The fourth-round selection from 2015 should effectively supplement Bichette’s defence if he requires a lengthy IL stint, as the former Cardinal ranks fourth in DRS (+35) and sixth in OAA (+22) among major league shortstops since 2019. And his glove has been just as elite in 2023, with his +8 OAA placing in the 97th percentile of the majors.
Offensively, however, it has been a grind for DeJong. He has been a four per cent below-league-average hitter, according to wRC+, and striking out at nearly a 30 per cent clip. But, despite those surface-level woes, he has been quite effective against left-handed pitching – one of the Blue Jays’ areas of need.
DeJong has slashed .266/.368/.453 with a 129 wRC+ over 76 plate appearances in right-on-left matchups. He has also walked nearly 12 per cent of the time, boosting his wOBA to .358. That level of success hasn’t been as prominent in the past. But, then again, neither has his overall offensive production either.
With Bichette’s status unclear, though, adding DeJong – who is flying to Toronto this evening, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi – didn’t cost the Blue Jays a high return and makes a ton of sense for not just the present, but also for the 2024 season.

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