Tha Sports Junkies 101

Cardinals Extend Paul Dejong’s Contract for $26 Million

Paul Dejong's Contract beemergirl99/ via


Paul Dejong’s Contract

The Cardinals announced Paul Dejong’s contract extension Monday from Jupiter, Florida.  The extension is for six years and $26 million including a $1 million signing bonus.  The Cardinals also hold options for Dejong’s first two years of free agency eligibility.  The options are for $12.5 million and $15 million respectively, in years 2024 and 2025.

Dejong in 2017

Dejong is coming off of his first year in the big leagues, which made his extension a surprise to some.  However, had it not been for Cody Bellinger hitting 40 home runs in Los Angeles last season, Dejong would have been the front runner for National League Rookie of the Year.  He hit 25 home runs of his own in 108 games last year and between St. Louis and Memphis, hit a total of 38.  He also had a .285/.325/.532 slash line at the big league level in 2017, to go with 25 doubles and 65 RBI.  His defense was playable as well.  It was much better than that of Aledmys Diaz, who’s defensive ability made Dejong look like Ozzie Smith.

Impact on the Cardinals

Paul Dejong’s contract extension means a few things for the Cardinals.  All of which are positive, depending on your point of view.  First of all, it is important to understand the Cardinals will not be in on Manny Machado next offseason.  He will probably hit the market as a shortstop, but that isn’t why he won’t wear the birds on the bat.  That boils down to him being much to expensive for Mozeliak and company’s taste.  Understanding this helps the effort to see Dejong’s extension as a positive.  He is not the reason Machado won’t be a Cardinal in 2019.

The other obstacle to seeing this extension as a good thing is the possibility of a major decline from Dejong.  First of all, if he doesn’t decline, the Cards have a steal at shortstop for the next six years, at least offensively.  On the other hand, if he does follow in Diaz’ footsteps, his contract adds value.  The same thing happened with Stephen Piscotty.  He had a very good season for the Redbirds, so they gave him a very similar contract to Dejong’s.  Piscotty then had a rough 2017 season, but, the combination of his potential based off of the one good season and his club friendly contract, it was easy to find someone to take him off the Cardinals’ hands for a good return.  Mo and Girsch are expecting similar interest in Dejong even if he falls off.