For the third time in the past few weeks, the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals have swung a trade. First, it was Génesis Cabrera sent to the Blue Jays. Then it was Jordan Hicks. Now, it's shortstop Paul DeJong.
Per MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Blue Jays are in advanced talks to acquire the shortstop. This news comes less than 24 hours after Bo Bichette exited last night's game with an apparent right knee injury.
Update: The deal is done. RHP Matt Svanson is going to St. Louis in exchange for DeJong.
Blue Jays trade for Bo Bichette replacement from the Cardinals
On the surface, there are a few different emotions that come to light first. On one hand, the Blue Jays are acquiring the right-handed power bat they've been targeting over the course of the past month or so. On the other hand, the fact that the player is a shortstop most likely means that the injury to Bichette is more serious than we initially thought it would be.
When it comes to the Cardinals, virtually nobody could've seen them becoming "sellers" at the deadline, yet here we are. The club is currently 47-60 and is over 11 games back of the first-place Reds in the NL Central. Jack Flaherty is yet another player on their roster that appears likely to be on the move in the next few hours.
In DeJong, the Blue Jays are acquiring a slick-fielding shortstop who ranks in the 97th percentile in Outs Above Average this year and is experiencing a turnaround at the plate after struggling mightily last year. After hitting .157 with a 52 OPS+ in 77 games last year, the free agent-to-be was optioned to the minors in a shocking development for someone who was once seen as one of the top shortstops in the game.
In 81 games this year, the 29-year-old has 13 home runs with 32 RBI, a .233 average, .710 OPS and 93 OPS+. Sure, these are not anywhere close to above-average and are even further than the production that Bichette gave the Jays, but DeJong's defense could boost his value to the club quite a bit.