Blue Jays 2023 trade deadline retrospective: Were the deals worth it?

Looking back to last year’s trade deadline, how have the moves that the Jays made turned out?
Pittsburgh Pirates v Toronto Blue Jays
Pittsburgh Pirates v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Blue Jays trade pitcher Matt Svanson to the Cardinals for shortstop Paul DeJong.

Everyone will certainly remember this trade, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. At the time, the acquisition of Paul DeJong was necessitated by the injury to star shortstop Bo Bichette just prior to the trade deadline. Given DeJong’s solid track record and veteran leadership, he was expected to be a viable replacement for Bichette until his return from the IL.

However, DeJong was a total disaster in what turned out to be a surprisingly short tenure with the Jays. In 13 games, he went a dreadful 3-for-44 for a .068 batting average with just one RBI and 18 strikeouts. In doing so, it forced the Jays to get Bichette back sooner than expected as they eventually designated DeJong for assignment. The early return from injury by Bichette might have resulted in indirectly affecting his performance down the stretch last season, and perhaps it has lingered into this season as well given his poor performance to date.

As for Matt Svanson, he has done a decent job with the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate Springfield this season, posting a 3.49 ERA and 1.55 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 28.1 innings pitched over 22 relief appearances. He could potentially be a useful bullpen piece for the Cardinals down the road. In the case for DeJong, he has moved on to the Chicago White Sox this season and has reverted to some degree to his productive ways, tallying 10 home runs and 21 RBI while sporting a .222 average in 57 games to date.

Who is the winner? 

Any time a player only puts up one measly RBI and three hits as his main stats line for his entire tenure with a club, there’s no way that club would come out as a winner in any scenario. As a result, the Jays lost big time in that trade. The winners are both the Cardinals, who may now have a useful piece for their future, and the White Sox, who has DeJong effectively producing in various spots of their batting order this season.